All Products
View All
Air Tube Headsets
ElectraHealth Exclusives
Sales & Specials

EMF Meters
View All
Dirty Electricity Meters
Radiofrequency (RF) Wireless Meters
Electric Field (AC) Meters
Magnetic Field (AC) Meters
Body Voltage Meter Kits

Services
View All
Phone Consultations
On-Site Inspection - Analysis - Remediation

Filters
View All
STETZERiZER Original
DNA Filters

Shielding Products
Shielding Paint
Bed Canopies
Shielding Fabrics

Power Cables & Adapters
View All
Power Strips
Extension Cords
Device Cords

Networking
View All
Wired and WiFi Routers
Ethernet LAN Cables
Grounding Adapters
Cat 6
Cat 7

Books and Videos

Professional
View All
Pro Meters
Pro Meter Accessories
Pro Miscellaneous
ElectraHealth EMF Newsletter with The EMF Explorer's Exclusive Content, Promotions, Specials Signup

RISK-FREE
Your Stetzerizer Filter purchase is covered by a 60 day no questions 100% satisfaction guarantee!!!
60 - Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on all Stetzerizer products!!!

Stetzerizer Filters do not wear out or ever need replacement. They are a one-time investment for a lifetime of healthier living.

Shopper Award



Would you prefer to make easy monthly payments on your order? We accept PayPal's Bill Me Later, allowing you 6 months interest free financing. Just place your order as normal, choose PayPal as the payment method, and follow the Bill Me Later link.

Smart meters: good idea or a lot of hot air?

Posted by Bob on 8/29/2013 to "Smart" Meters

If anyone needed convincing about the insecurity of Britain’s energy policy, then the news that some of our biggest wind farms were last week producing just enough power to boil a few hundred kettles should help.

It is the obvious flaw in the system: when the wind does not blow, the turbines either produce no electricity, or even become net consumers to keep themselves going. Supporters of the rush for renewables say that August is typically a month when winds are light – but no more so than June, July or September. They argue that most of the time, wind turbines produce clean energy – but the question for an advanced economy like ours is whether they produce anything like enough, especially in view of the subsidies they receive.

However, help is at hand. We are all going to be equipped with smart meters, so we will know how much energy we are using and can adjust accordingly. Advertisements to this effect from the big power suppliers are appearing everywhere. So, this must be a good idea, mustn’t it? Instead of trying to decipher the numbers on an ancient electricity or gas meter buried deep in the Stygian gloom of a broom cupboard, we will all have state-of-the-art digital display units telling us that someone has left the TV on, or that the daughter of the house is drying her hair upstairs.

The smart meter project will be one of the most extensive infrastructure programmes ever seen in the UK, with the aim (set by the EU) of installing them in 80 per cent of homes and small businesses – some 52 million buildings – by 2020. At one point, it was going to be compulsory to have one, but the Government thought this would be an intrusion too far. Still, with the suppliers pushing them like mad, most of us are going to get a smart meter whether we like it or not.

Earlier this month, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced the preferred bidders for this monumental task, which will involve the removal of millions of existing meters and their replacement with electronic devices able to communicate remotely with suppliers who can take readings at regular intervals. In theory, this should mean no more estimated readings that leave you £300 in credit with your gas company, or alternatively facing a higher-than-expected bill. 

I can see the advantages of metering. Yet I have a sneaking suspicion that it is going to cost me more, not less.

True, at the moment, trying to work out the best-value energy suppliers is almost impossible. Our home is supplied by Marks & Spencer, for goodness sake – the result of an encounter in one of their food stores between my wife and a salesman promising all sorts of goodies, including discount vouchers that we only received after chasing them up. Looking at our bill now, it is no cheaper than when we were with British Gas.

So a smart meter seems like a good idea: customers can automatically receive favourable tariffs that reward them for using energy during off-peak periods, though I can’t see many doing the laundry at 3am.

Yet this programme is going to cost some £12 billion – and the bill is to be passed on to the consumer. So if we really are to be up on the deal, we must be about to get some pretty good bargains as a result. Indeed, DECC estimates it will deliver overall benefits of £18.8 billion, giving a net gain of almost £7 billion.

Still, a number of energy experts aren’t convinced. Alex Henney, who worked in the electricity industry for many years, tells me that when a group of consultants carried out a cost-benefit analysis in 2007, they calculated a net cost of more than £4 billion. He also insists that the system being introduced here will be twice as expensive as in Italy and Spain.

“We have devised the most complex roll-out in the world, relying on suppliers to provide the meters rather than the network company,” says Henney. “This increases the cost of capital and requires an additional large database, which will lead to errors and confusion as we switch suppliers.” He adds that people could be given live information on their energy use via the internet or smartphone apps much more cheaply.

Henney told a Commons energy committee inquiry that “the project is likely to be a shambles which will have negligible consumer benefit”. The MPs, however, concluded that we should indeed gain overall, although they conceded there may be resistance. Some people, for instance, object to the idea of having what amounts to a spy in the home, believing it could be used to find out about other activities. This seems excessively paranoid – but after the data-mining scandals of recent months, who knows?

Ostensibly, smart meters’ main purpose is to make us use less energy and contribute towards a low-carbon future, along with wind turbines and other renewables. Perhaps they will – but at a cost. Germany recently decided not to follow the EU’s 80 per cent target for smart meters because it would be too costly for consumers. That is something to bear in mind when you next hear a minister promising to help people who find it hard to pay their fuel bills.

There is one thing to remember, however: when the energy supplier comes knocking on the door to install your new smart meter, you can always say no thanks, and stick with the dumb one under the stairs. Whether anyone will ever come and read it for you is another matter.
comments powered by Disqus

 The EMF Explorer
 Dirty Electricity
 "Smart" Meters
 Wireless

 Mobile phones are 'cooking' men's sperm
 Tips on How to Save Energy and Money without a ‘Smart’ Meter
 Families Punished by ‘Smart’ Meters and Time-Of-Use Rates, Recent Study Confirms
 TEDx Talk: “Wireless Wake-Up Call”
 A Message to Dads about Wireless Safety
 EMF Controversy Exposed
 Li-Fi has just been tested in the real world, and it's 100 times faster than Wi-Fi
 Electromagnetic Radiation Soup
 Effects of GSM EMR on permeability of blood-brain barrier in rats
 Psychiatric symptoms associated with exposure to non-ionizing EMR from mobile telephones
 Italian town shuts down school Wi-Fi over health fears
 Electromagnetic Radiation : ‘Wake-Up Call’ For Everyone
 Smart meters: boon or boondoggle?
 Summary of Evidence on Smart Meter Fires
 The REAL tin foil hat: RF protection for your head
 Study: EMF Radiation generated by mobile phone base stations associated with type 2 diabetes
 Protect yourself from health dangers of exposure to wireless networks
 Wait, so cell phones cause brain cancer after all?
 Study: Impairments in spinal cord of male offspring rats following exposure to a continuous 900-MHz EMF
 'Smart Meters:' Easy Targets for Hackers
 New Itron OpenWay Riva ‘Smart’ Meters Combine RF Mesh, PLC and Wi-Fi Communications and Poll Data Once per Second
 ‘Catastrophic’ Failures Expected with ‘Smart’ Meters
 Congressional Testimony: ‘Smart’ meters only have a life of 5 to 7 years
 T-Mobile wants to turn your house into a cell tower, and why you should think twice about letting them
 US pushes for spectrum for 5G, civil drones, flight tracking
 Study shows radioprotective effects of a natural leaf extract
 Practical Tips to Reduce Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure
 An Inside View of a "Smart" Meter
 Should babies and toddlers use mobile devices every day?
 4G/LTE in Unlicensed Bands - Adding Electromagnetic Radiation to an Airspace Near You

 March 2016
 February 2016
 January 2016
 December 2015
 November 2015
 October 2015
 September 2015
 August 2015
 July 2015
 June 2015
 May 2015
 April 2015
 March 2015
 February 2015
 January 2015
 December 2014
 November 2014
 October 2014
 September 2014
 August 2014
 July 2014
 June 2014
 May 2014
 April 2014
 March 2014
 February 2014
 January 2014
 December 2013
 November 2013
 October 2013
 September 2013
 August 2013
 July 2013
 June 2013
 May 2013
 April 2011