Re: I think it *will* be a ghastly mess
"Economy 7" has been around for decades in the UK. It is simple to use and understand and it doesn't rely on unreliable electronics or insecure interruptible communications. You could run your dishwasher and WM on cheap night time 'leccy if your house was wired with a separate Economy 7 circuit (usually provided for running night storage heaters).
If you want to know how much electricity you are using to help cut down a bit, you can spend around £30 and buy an "Owl" or similar remote monitoring device and display. It doesn't need a £250 (or whatever) so-called "smart meter".
Smart meters seem like an incredibly expensive way to provide no benefit to the user. The utility companies will pocket the extra profit made by sacking the meter readers. The ability to ration electricity to the poor, while keeping the rich supplied (on higher "uninterruptible" tariffs) in times of demand outstripping capacity must surely be the underlying motivation. Yes, the result will be a ghastly mess and a huge waste of money. Money spent on delivering unjust power cuts to the poor so the rich can continue to consume, thereby maximizing profits. Money that could have been invested in energy security that would stave off power cuts through improving energy efficiency, expanding energy storage and adding nuclear energy generation to replace decommissioned reactors.
Anyone wishing to install a so-called "smart meter" in my house will need a warrant!