Don’t believe the industry hype that electric smart meter are accurate. There are just too many consumer reports of inflated bills and the latest is a whopper. The UK’s Daily Telegraph reports on one energy company’s malfunctioning smart meters charging electricity users as much as £33,000 ($40,580) for a day’s power.
A glitch with SSE’s meter warned one consumer they had bust their daily budget by nearly three million per cent. Complaints began appearing on the company’s Twitter page on Friday, with dozens of customers saying their meters were quoting thousands of pounds for 24 hours of gas and electricity.
Shocked account holder Mark Umpleby tweeted SSE with a photo that said he had used £33,183 of gas in one day – 2,765,175 per cent over budget. The following day the meter said the bill would be £27,022 for the day. The average annual bill for a medium-sized house in the UK is around £830 ($1020).
Another customer, Usman Hussain, tweeted a picture of his meter saying he would be charged nearly £9,600 for his day’s electricity and gas.
In October 2016 The Guardian published a critique of the meters with the headline – “Smart meters: an energy-saving revolution or just plain dumb?”
Noting, “Their introduction is set to cost consumers £11bn ($13526,700,000), but studies show they cut energy consumption by 3% or less – so why is the UK spending so much on rolling out “smart” electricity and gas meters?”
Auditors in Australia and Canada have reported the meters are just too expensive. Andrew Evans, from the auditor general’s office in Victoria, Australia, said there would not be any overall benefit to consumers, and the net cost was $320m (£170m) paid by consumers through higher energy bills.
And in June 2016 EurActiv.com reported the transition to an intelligent electricity grid in Europe can take place without smart meters. There are other more efficient ways than smart meters to help develop intelligent power grids, said industry delegates at the annual convention of Europe’s electricity association Eurelectric, held in Vilnius, Lithuania.
These include quicker integration of renewables, the development of energy storage and energy demand response solutions, said the industry representatives. Laurence Carpanini, director smarter energy solutions at IBM, said: “I don’t look at smart meters now as being the drivers of change – you don’t need smart meters really.”