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21 July, 2011

Smart Meters - Whats the point?

The latest buzz phrase in Eco electricity seems to be "Smart Meters" and apparently energy suppliers have got to spend billions on fitting every home with one by some arbitrary date in the future. My energy supplier will give me 5pence a decade off now if I have one fitted. But what are they?

Well according to Southern Electric fitting one will let me :-

PLAN my energy use to suit me
TRACK how much energy I've saved
SAVE money by cutting my bills

Excellent I must look closer, how will it do this.

The short answer is that it won't make a scrap of difference to me or probably anyone else and lets see why.

The smart meter shows how much electricity you are using at any given time, how much you have used over a period of time, a daily, weekly, monthly average, peak use and so on. Fantastic!?
Um, not really I don't see how any of that allows me to for example "Plan my energy use" or come to that "Save money by cutting bills" and it is information I already know isn't it.

For example say its a winters evening and I am cooking dinner, I have the oven on and a light in the kitchen. How does this meter save me money, the oven uses whatever electricity it needs to cook at 180 and the light uses say 60w. I can't change anything, I cant save anything, I can't plan anything.

After eating dinner, by candlelight because I am scared the meter is watching me if I put a light on, I decide to watch TV. I don't need a smart meter to know that the TV will use 102W, I know this because a smart man stuck a label on it and I can read. So the TV is on and I risk having a light on in the room at the same time. Again whats the point of the smart meter, how do I "Plan" my energy use, how do I "cut bills"?

I must be missing something, the government wouldn't make electricity suppliers put up our bills in order to fit a useless device would they. No don't answer that.

The only way a smart meter can save us money is if we turn everything off and sit and watch the smart meter by torch light.

I really must be missing something. Someone from an energy company please send me a comment and explain how this will work. Ta.

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