Smart meters to be put into every home - even if they don't work


It might seem crazy but, The £11 billion Government plan to put ‘smart meters’ into every UK home launches this week despite fears they may not work and could open national grid up to cyber-terrorists, so says the Telegraph.

The meters, which are being introduced to meet EU green targets, will cost households £200 each in an effort to cut down energy consumption and reduce bills.

However official documents have shown that the meters save less energy than predicted and five other countries who had been considering the plan have ditched it after deciding it could cost more money than it saves.

Due to complex technology the metres will also not work in a third of British homes including rural houses, high-rise flats and basements.

Energy companies will begin the installation of smart meters next year at a cost of at least £200 per home, and have admitted the expense will be passed on to customers.

Sir Bob Geldof is launching the publicity drive and will be paid for his role in the campaign.

Smart meters work by recording gas and electricity consumption every 30 minutes.

The metres are linked up to monitors called In-Home Displays, which show customers how much power they are consuming at any one time and how much it is costing them. The Government hopes that having access

to this real time information will encourage families to alter their energy use accordingly.

However the gas and electricity meters transfer information wirelessly using a communication hub called ZigBee which does not work in buildings with thick walls or in multi-storey flats.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has estimated the technology will see bills fall by £26 a year by 2020 and cut electricity usage by 2.8 per cent and gas by 2 per cent.

However an early study of 743 Dutch households found users consumed only 0.9 per cent less gas and 0.6 per cent less electricity.

A risk assessment carried out by the energy watchdog, Ofgem, has also identified ‘"a range of threats such as cyber, viruses and malicious software."

Margaret Hodge, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said:

“This is a typical Government project – they set up a big scheme but don’t think about the costs to the consumer because it’s being driven by the energy companies. This expensive equipment is already out-of-date, because we could get the information on our smartphones.

“The Government should really think about the technology they are using and make sure that the consumer benefits.”