Smart Meters, I dont get it.

3 12 2009

In the UK there has just been an announcement that every house will have a smart meter to monitor home energy use. Fantastic, at least if we want to reduce our consumption at home we can. But hold on a minute, rolout is going to take over 10 years, and its going to cost £6.8Bn and its only expected to result in a 10% saving in the home. I don’t get it. Who pays ? Apparently the home owner. £330 to get it installed, saving £26 per annum off the average bill, since most silicon based devices in constant use have a MTBF of < 10 years the cost will never be recovered. I don’t get it. Ahh its to reduce our Carbon footprint. I wonder how much extra Carbon footprint £6.8Bn of expenditure equates to, all economic activity has an impact (other than planting trees on a commercial scale and using the wood for buildings that last 200 years). If people really want make an impact they need to do less, consume less, and keep things simple. Call me sinical, but the smart meter initiative sounds like a stitch up between government and industry. Industry to create a huge new market for something that didn’t exist previously, government to find a new way of avoiding building sufficient green energy plants, nuclear included to meet peaks of demand and hence raising taxes. I wonder how many MW of green energy you could provision for £8.6Bn, if it was Nuclear probably 2 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_new_nuclear_power_plants, if it was wind, its much harder to tell. Thats why I don’t get it.

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One response

3 12 2009
Steve

The simple solution is oft the best: watch the gas and electricity meter readings and plot it every now and then to see what your usage is like. At least for many UK homes the meters are inside; we need to battle with redback spiders!




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