Are Smart Meters really that smart?
Good information is a Good Thing. Nobody doubts that, for some people and organisations, improved information about their electricity (and even gas and water) consumption and its costs could provoke some behaviour change, or trigger energy saving investments. Indeed, current UK laws assume this is the case when it comes to buying potatoes, as current metes, if used in farmers markets, would provoke prosecute by the local trading standards people.
But is this believe enough to justify a ~£10 billion+ investment that will cost every consumer some £500. It is not just the cost of the meter, but the communications infrastructure, and the processing of unimaginably vast (and almost totally useless) information. Instead of 0, 1 or even 6 readings a quarter, the utilities will have to process perhaps 9000 readings, and perhaps even 130,000. Can you seriously believe that this will happen smoothly, or effectively? The IBMs and Ciscos of the world are slavering at the prospect of all that kit.
But for the vast majority of domestic consumers, a smart meter, and its attendant processing, will tell them very little that they do not already know. And is it reasonable that we should all have to pay so much just to educate the few who are too idle to understand?