Re: Really, that Much?
Smart meters can save customers a fortune. But, and this is the kicker, not in the UK.
Here in New Zealand, we're at about 75% smart meter coverage already. But these aren't what you know as smart meters. These ones were rolled out sensibly.
What that means is that you don't get any "in-home display" of what power you're using, or anything similar. It's not a consumer toy. It's a tool for retailers. I work for one of said retailers, so I have some inside knowledge on this topic.
The result is - apart from cheaper meter reads - also more accurate meter reads. No more estimation, particularly when customers move in/out of their homes or switch retailers. And switching retailers has become much easier. That's because the meters don't belong to the retailers, they belong to separate metering companies that provide data to retailers.
And that has led to a veritable price war among retailers. There are at least half a dozen companies in the market now that will *only* accept customers with smart meters, because it eliminates a huge part of operational risk. And consumer prices have dropped about 20% over the past 3, 4 years.
The British rollout is just unbelievably silly. It's clearly cooked up by the (big, incumbent) retailers themselves, with an eye to keeping upstarts out of the market, and also helping themselves to huge wads of taxpayer money. But it doesn't have to be that way. Take a lesson from the Colonies.