Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Smart Meters: Good or Bad?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about an E.ON event that I went to and how I was considering having one of their Smart Meters fitted at home. 
A reader left an in depth comment about the health dangers associated with the Smart Meter and I started to have second thoughts. As anyone would. 
You can read the reaction here.

I went back to E.ON for a response and they sent me lots of information and the offer of a Twinterview with one of their Smart Meter experts. 
So on Thursday at midday I'll be grilling the said expert about everything to do with Smart Meters.

Do you have one in your house? 
Has it helped to reduce your fuel bills?
Do you have any positive comments on Smart Meters?

Have you any concerns that you would like me to raise?
Have you had a negative experience with your Smart Meter?

Is there anything you would like to know?

Please do leave any questions in the comments and I will pack in as many as i can during the 30 minute Twinterview.


  1. I have had a smart meter for 6 months and halved my usage on gas and elec. Love it.

  2. Catherine Burden26 June 2012 at 23:24

    Oh sorry, I can use the dryer during the day but I prefer to hang things on the line. Plus you have to save where ever you can, and the dryer is just another expense while the line cost nothing.

    I should add, in Ontario, Canada, with a smart meter, Monday to Friday during the day, using the washing machine costs a fortune, compared to after 7pm and on weekends.

  3. Catherine, can you explain further?
    Why can't you use your dryer in the day?

  4. Catherine Burden26 June 2012 at 23:24

    I despise my smart meter. I also hate that during the week, I have to wait until after 7pm to do laundry. Trying to do all the laundry on the weekend is not an easy task. I prefer to hang it on the line rather than use the dryer, so it is a two day, all day job for me. I prefer being able to do laundry a load a day in the morning, it was much easier on me. There should be exceptions to the rules for the disabled (me) and the elderly, who still like to do laundry but have a hard time doing all day long.

  5. Wow, that is pretty impressive. Are you seeing any negatives?

  6. Sadly it doesn't work that way, Utilities have very little information on us currently. The bills are as you say estimated however this is largely based on historical billing data from the property and is the reason bills often increase drastically when the utility realise the home owner isn't paying enough.

    Smart Meters mean the utility company get regular updates on our habits and data in the home almost in real time. They will know when the heating goes on and off, when people decide to have a hot drink or do the cooking, they will see absolutely everything.

    Your point about the store cards is well made, however this is a choice that we as a consumer make, we choose to sign up and take the benefits and retailers then offer us deals based on our habits and purchases we make in their stores.

    My concern is that consumers really don't know what they are signing up for with a Smart Meter, not only that but data is then being gathered on you in your own home which we have no control over. It's stealth detection.

    This video is well worth watching, yes it's extreme but the points are genuine.


    If you wanted to reduce your utility bill there are easy and safer ways to do it, not only that I can't see the logic why a utility company would want you to reduce your spend with them, when it''s their own revenue they are diluting?

  7. Thanks Dave,
    But having a Smart Meter fitted is a matter of choice, just like signing up for a store card. I personally don't sign up for anything without checking out the pros and cons, which is how this whole debate kicked off.
    Do you think that the energy companies are deceiving their customers?
    What other ways do you suggest to to reduce your bills?

    It makes perfect logic why the energy companies want you to use less.... we can't go on burning the planet at this rate and surely it is the energy companies job to educate us about how to use the resource wisely?
    I'm off to check out the vid.

  8. Dave, thanks for your input.
    I'm not sure that i understand the issue around the energy company recording your habits, surely they already track day v night usage etc? Especially if you are on an Economy 7 package and of course they will already have basic metrics in place in terms of the size of your house and how many people reside there... or how else would they be able to estimate your use?

    On another note... do you not have any supermarket points cards such as the Nectar or Boots Advantage Card? They have been tracking your supermarket purchases for years. If you haven't already signed up, I can suggest the Tesco Clubcard because you get vouchers back for your E.ON energy spend. 
    Every Little Helps.

  9. I have had a smart meter for 6 months and halved my usage on gas and elec. Love it. 

  10. I would like to know what they have to say on the dangers of them, specifically I would like you to ask why the Department of Climate Change (DECC) changed their stance on them from being compulsory to now optional.
    Equally can you ask what the Energy company will do with all the data they gather?

    If I have understood correctly the smart meter will record and feedback everything you do that consumers energy on a 30 second update basis. All of a sudden the energy company will know everything about your habits in the home, what will they do with that data? It strikes me as very big brother!

  11. Then that is a question right there!
    Why do you think it might cost you more? Interested to know.

  12. LOL... baby brain. It's at midday!

  13. Don't have a question but I am interested to know what they say about it all. I would really like to install one but I don't know whether it's likely to end up costing me more!

  14. Crikey- that's obviously the downside to the inter-web- doing an interview at midnight. Unless you are a night owl. Or breastfeeding. Interested to read what you find out!


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Appreciated as always. xx


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