Re: Doesn'nt Brexit make this optional?
Look, if you want to start up your own electricity retail company that's completely British-owned and controlled, knock yourself out. It's not that hard. Basically, all you need to know is SQL. The rest is just a bunch of specs and regulations that can be looked up as needed.
It's also not that profitable, which is why more people don't do it. The margins are pretty slim.
Disclosure: I work for an electricity retailer (although not in the UK).
There's an astonishing amount of bullshit talked about smart meters on this site.
Insecure? Look, there are over half a billion of the things installed worldwide, in places they've been operating for 10 years or more, and as yet I haven't seen a single verified report of hacking. I don't think they're invulnerable, I just think they're not a very exciting or lucrative target.
No gains for the customer? Are you telling me that UK retailers don't charge their customers when they send a guy in a van out to reconnect their meter? For us, that charge is fully 70% lower when the meter can be reconnected remotely.
No competition? Which? lists 192, that's one-hundred and ninety-two, different tariffs, from more than 30 different companies, to choose from for my old UK address. How much competition do you need, exactly?
Wrongful disconnection? Newsflash, we can do that with an old-fashioned meter too - the big difference with a smart meter is, it's a lot quicker to reconnect - and in either case our liability and your recourse are exactly the same.
It's not all roses, there's some perfectly valid arguments to be made against smart meters. But 99% of what passes for debate on this site, as on most others, is pure FUD - spread, I can only imagine, by electricity retailers whose databases are crap, and meter manufacturers (Landis & Gyr, I'm looking at you) whose meters are crap.