More batshit from those on high. This week – dimmer than a 5w lightbulb.

Thanks to the BBC, I discovered this story from the BBC. Apparently energy "Smart-Meters" are now the way forwards. The way it works is this – The Department of Energy and Climate Change (and no, I wasn't aware we had one of those) wants to see "47 million meters in 26 million properties by 2020". Good luck with that chaps. According to the Beeb, it is hoped that the technology will help people cut their energy bills by giving you a visual display of how much electricity you are using. This, to my mind, is avoiding a fact – if you're too stupid to realise that by leaving all the lights on and boiling the kettle you're going to be using more leccy than if you sit in the dark drinking orange juice then you shouldn't be in charge of anything as potentially lethal as a plug switch, just in case you're overwhelmed by the urge to discover what happens if you ram a fork into it. Anyhow, dispensing with the detail, let's look at the practicalities shall we?

Trials of smart meters have suggested that SOME people may be prompted to moderate their energy use and that the £8bn scheme may help people save £28 a year. May I be the first to say that I don't personally think spending £8bn in order to get a few people to switch off the light and save the monetary equivilent of 8 pints a year is terribly practical? The meters are going to cost about £340 per household anyway, so their first 12 years of savings are going to be spent paying off the sodding thing. Lord Hunt, our esteemed climate change monkey-in-charge said, without a hint of irony that 'Smart meters will put the power in people's hands, enabling us to control how much energy we use, cut emissions and cut bills", entirely missing the point that people have been able to do this since electricity first arrived in houses just by using the 'off' switch. In days gone by the populace was even deemed intelligent enough to work out that having the bedroom light on upstairs when they were sat downstairs was unnecessary without the aid of a little electronic gadget that produces a pretty coloured graph. And uses up more electricity to power itself. He also said that case studies showed the meters 'could' get people to reduce their bills by about £100 a year by changing behaviour but we can safely ignore that figure because we all know that the government doesn't believe the electorate can understand a number unless it starts with '1'  and ends in '0' and so they've clearly just rounded up the £28 mentioned to the next largest figure that follows this rule.

The energy suppliers are going to be able to recoup the cost from customers through higher bills or upfront fees. Quelle surprise. And what, ladies and gentlemen, do we think the energy companies will do if (and we're taking a wild leap of faith here, following the fatally flawed assumption that the scheme makes any difference) our energy use begins to tail off dramatically and profits begin to fall? Any guesses? Yes, that's quite right. They'll ramp the bloody prices up so they can still make umpteen billion quid a year.

So am I going to be applying for a Smart Meter? No, I'm not, because I'm intelligent enough to figure out the times when I use most power and what to do to reduce it and frankly I think that a list should be made of all the people who don't think that they can figure it as well so require a meter. This way someone can be sent round to all their properties to disconnect the electricity and the gas before they hurt themselves…

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12 Responses

  1. What an effing waste of money. What do they think electricity metres are? They'd be better off investing the money in proper isulation for households so they don't end up with the situation where lonely eldery people sit and stare at their Smart Meter, too scared to turn their electric fire to keep themselves warm.
    Sorry – that was a bit ranty – am loving the adverts at the bottom of your page btw.

  2. Were the ads always there? I've never noticed them before.
    Nothing wrong with a bit ranty and you're right, 8 billion quid qould insulate a lot of lofts and replace a lot of draughty old windows. But this is the government, why suggest something useful when you can encourage someone to blue a shitload of cash on something ridiculous that's made by a company owned by a friend of a cabinet minister.

  3. who is it that has sold the world on smart meters,they have them here also,why do i get the feeling theres a add on,once we get used to these meters,do they start talking once you've used too much electricity,telling the whole neighborhood,or do they start shutting off your electricity…other then that the bill is the only encouragement i need.

  4. I already get a notice of how much electricity I use in a month – it's called an electric bill!

  5. I think there is some scheme here where for $50 they give you a meter and a few low energy consuming lightglobes.

    For years we were bombarded with TV advertisements from the electricity
    company telling us what a wonderful company they were and what a
    fabulous service they were providing for the state of Queensland.
    Only problem…they were a monopoly provider. Consumers were paying directly for all the irrelevant ads.

  6. "…then you shouldn't be in charge of anything as potentially lethal as a plug switch…"Or even shouldn't be in charge of a brain.I won't be buying the hype either.

  7. Exactly.I'm with you, I can't help thinking that they are presenting the pleasant face of this and if we accept it then at a later date something less pleasant is going to be brought in…I don't trust the government and I don't trust energy companies. Putting the two together doesn't fill me with confidence.

  8. Indeed, and if anyone is too stupid to figure out how to make the bill get smaller then they shouldn't be at large without a responsible adult to stop them injuring themselves….

  9. Ah you see here we have a number of different providers all competing, so you get to decide exactly which bunch of shysters is going to royally rip you off.

  10. Me either. There was a woman interviewed on the news last night who had one and who was wiffling about how it can let her use the cheapest tariff blah blah. Do they expect me to believe that the energy providers are going to install in everyone's house a device that automatically shows them how to pay the least for what they're using? Pull the other one, it's attached to the foghorn.

  11. Excellent post Vicola. Charming how our elected representatives consistently credit us with having no nous at all, isn't it?

  12. I agree – if you can't figure out how to save energy/money by turning things off when you aren't using them then chances are you aren't even smart enough to figure out how to use a bleeping meter in the first place.

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