A Reminder – Your Rights in Relation to Smart Meters

It comes as no surprise that a number of big energy firms are starting to really push hard on the Smart Meter ‘gas’ pedal.  Advertising campaigns online and offline, integrated social media/direct mail campaigns, etc. are all trying to sell us on the spurious and totally unsubstantiated ‘benefits’ of placing our utility supplies on the web.

Despite the big marketing budgets, however, it seems as though the rhetoric just isn’t ‘washing’ – and this is consequently encouraging some companies to occupy the moral low ground and lie to customers about their rights and obligations.  One company in particular has, on multiple occasions, grossly mislead/lied to people about their rights in regard to Smart Meters and what the Government’s position is on it, too.

So we feel that it is an appropriate time to have a quick recap on what we have by way of some fundamental, non-negotiable rights.

What the UK Government says about our rights

Hansard, 29 November 2011, reflected the statement by Charles Hendry MP (former Energy minister) that whilst Energy suppliers will need to take “all reasonable steps to install smart meters for all domestic and smaller non-domestic customers by 2019” – they:

“do not expect suppliers to seek an entry warrant simply to fit a smart meter and it will not be an offence for householders to refuse to accept a smart meter”.

An article from The Register in February of this year (http://reg.cx/1TX7) quoted Hendry as saying the following:

“We believe that people will benefit from having smart meters, but we will not make them obligatory. If people are concerned about the electromagnetic issues, they will not be required to have one. We have been willing to give assurances to Hon Members on that account.”

And David Cameron’s Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Edward Davey MP, issued a public response to our DontSmartMeter.me campaign in which he stated the following:

“We believe smart meters will bring important benefits to consumers… However, there will not be a legal obligation on individuals to have one.”

And here is what the Electricity Act, 1989, says about your provider’s Duty to Connect on Request: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/29/section/16
Here is what prominent consumer magazine Which? says about your rights:  http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/problem/do-i-have-to-accept-a-smart-meter/
What some energy firms are saying about our rights

Some of the comments we have heard from customer service reps from at least one Big Energy firm include the following:

“There’s a new law now in place forcing people to have a Smart Meter”
“You will be forced to have a Smart Meter”
“There is a Government mandate forcing everyone to have a Smart Meter by 2019”
“There is a law coming into place in 2019 that will force you to have a Smart Meter”
“Smart Meters don’t emit microwaves”
“Smart Meters do emit microwaves, but less than mobile phones”

These statements are false.  Don’t be surprised it they try them out on you.

What we say about our rights

Quite simply, there is no law or legislation forcing anyone to have a Smart Meter; for our physiology and sense of well-being to be impacted, for our utility supplies to be placed onto the web, for our personal safety and security to be put at risk, for our privacy to be violated, or for our personal behaviour at home to be analysed, profiled and monetised.

Each and every one of us has indefeasible rights that cannot be given to us by another human being nor lawfully taken away from us.  We are living, breathing, human souls and we can damn well refuse a Smart Meter on whatever grounds we like.  Big Energy may try to tell us otherwise, and in the process perpetrate a fraudulent misrepresentation and distortion of reality.   Just remember that these companies provide us with a service and they are not in charge – you are!

Footnote

If you are currently in “discussion” with an energy/utility supplier who can’t understand why you’re not buying their expensive flannel, please get in touch with us with your story/situation.   Whilst nearly 400 people have issued Notices of Non-Consent & Liability via our www.DontSmartMeter.me campaign to date (generating over 28,000 emails!) many people have taken even more direct action by contacting their power/water companies directly.  We applaud this kind of action and it is very much necessary.  If you want to get in touch to let us know how you are doing, email us at info [at] stopsmartmeters [dot] org [dot] uk

60 Comments
  1. Absolutely right.

    This website does a wonderful job collecting information for the case against smart metering. But reading this on its own and signing petitions is going to achieve nothing.

    To get results, individuals MUST get in touch with the media and their own MPs. Some of us are already doing that but it is impossible to know how many at this stage.

    • Hello Sam, you are right. We do need to take action. By all means write to your MP and the media, something may get done. But we believe the most effective thing to do is engage at a local level with your neighbours, family and friends. If we don’t do this, we score a big own goal. The word has been out on the problems presented by Smart Meters for long enough. Until organisations, agencies or individuals with leverage and/or power take appropriate action, we need to take direct action to inform people and raise awareness. It works and it doesn’t invoke dependency on anyone other than ourselves.

      http://www.StopSmartMeters.org.uk/leaflets-please-circulate

      Thanks for your support.

    • MP’s will do nothing, apart from tow the Gov lie –( ups! line. ) Once people realize there is a bigger agenda being processed through government and their partners in big bullying business, and we the population and voters begin simply to say NO… very loud and clear. Only then will the bullying stop.
      We are complicit, if we go along with all that is happening via politicians ‘dictations’ As long as we sit and watch our country being sliced and diced away to the big Co-ops. Then thats what we’ll get… more dictates – less freedom

  2. After adding my name to the petition it automatically contacted numerous power companies refusing power meters . I have had many replies and they have all said “I dont have to have one” . All accompanied of course by pro-meter drivel.They all say meters are for our benfit as we can see what we use , so all they need to fit is the power indication !! not the mobile phone system .

    • Hi Ron – it is very telling that an Energy Monitor can be bought online for about £20 nowadays, yet each Smart Meters will cost upwards of £400 per home/small business, without factoring in the communications costs, maintenance, replacement, and costs associated with successful litigation and prosecution against the companies, organisations and individuals within them for the health and other problems these Smart Meters will bring about. By comparison to local Energy Monitoring devices, Smart Meters are VERY expensive. Someone clearly thinks they are worth it.

  3. Hello Ron – I think you should consider yourself very lucky the energy companies are taking such a democratic attitude with you. It remains to be seen what they will say when you actually refuse because,from what I have heard, companies cannot go so far as to actually force entry to install a meter, but if you refuse you get clobbered by a hefty ‘no access’ rate to pay for your water or energy. In effect, this is an ongoing fine for exercising your democratic right opt out. So, the government is saying that the householder has the right to choose. But the companies are punishing you for not making the choice they want.

  4. Hello StopSmartMeters!UK

    I take your point about local action but it depends on where you live. Some parts of the country are populated by stroppy libertarians (if you know where, please tell me so I can relocate). Other parts are by nature passive and you are flogging a dead horse to try and get the local community to do anything. In this situation, there isn’t much choice but to act on your own and try to get your MP on your side.

    Speaking of which, the following address is a very good website for contacting your MP, much easier than posting snail mail but guaranteeing a response:

    http://www.writetothem.com/

  5. When terrorists hack into their computers and every ones power is compromised they will be bleating about they did not realise such things could happen. I am not having one what ever the utility companies say; but them I am with Good Energy who so far have been great to work with and are not stitching me up with their prices

  6. Hi Linda. I had never heard of Good Energy until I read your post. Now I am interested. Have they said anything about the smart meter roll out or put pressure on you to have one?

    Has anybody else had experience of this company?

    • Hi –
      We’ve been with Good Energy now for about 13 years. I tried asking them about the Smartmeter issue and they said as they are a small energy provider they have no say whatsoever, it is the gvt and the “big 6”. Well, just last week they sent out a notification of price rises, with a detailed breakdown. Guess what the largest contribution was to their increased costs? “Preperation for smartmeter rollout”.
      So, they’re taking part like everyone else. Time to send out those letters…

  7. Very helpful, thank you!

  8. Its all fraud and well they know it, its big brother, I have found all companys like bt, virgin media plus energy suppliers lie to get customers, yearly contracts are put in place because they know you are going to want to leave when you realise you have been lied to. its time they were taken to court, I have had a virgin media man admit to lieing , his words were all big companys lie, that how they make there money, Now they are trying to hurt people, this is going to far. IT MUST BE STOPPED! Only we the people can stop it, its time to say enough is enough. sneaking around putting meters in peoples water drains, they have no feeling for anyone only to get a measly paypacket, what goes around comes around. Wake up people

  9. These robotised persons who are agents of a manufactured person think they can bully you with threats and intimidation. After trying to contract with the “occupier” who no longer lives with me somehow they found my name which I might add is against data protection and illegal, they are now threatening with a warrant. Hence, legal notice has been served to all who would be installers to be followed by the company in question. Sure, they might come with a fraud of a warrant but they will only be allowed on property in the presence of a Peace Officer on Oath. People need to seriously wake up and start resisting or this is done and over with.

  10. “…each Smart Meter will cost upwards of £400”

    Could you provide a source for this cost? I’m very interested in understanding how this adds up against the UK government case for cost vs benefit which, I believe has each Smart Meter costing circa £60.

    Thanks

  11. “…I had never heard of Good Energy until I read your post. Now I am interested. Have they said anything about the smart meter roll out or put pressure on you to have one?”

    Quote from Good Energy website regarding customers using micro-generation:

    “Good Energy SmartGen measures the amount of electricity you export with a meter – and where possible we make sure that meter is a smart meter.”

    http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/generate/smartgen

    There is a fundamental link between what a company like Good Energy are trying to achieve (sourcing 100% of our electricity from renewables) and a potential fully functioning future Smart Grid. I support both aims.

    Regards
    ElecTRific

    • Hi ElecTRific,

      We support moving towards more sustainable energy too, but Smart Meters as they currently stand are a long way from being a solution for this.

      You might like to listen to the following debate between Mike from SSM UK and David Saunders of Bristol Power from earlier this year.

      http://www.bcfmradio.com/2013/04/05/17/friday-drivetime-116/28515 (second half of the second hour)
      http://rinf.com/alt-news/surveillance-big-brother/smart-meters-big-brother-in-the-home/31378/

    • I have been with Good Energy for years and fully support renewable electricity.

      I have found them to be a very good company, however I was rather disappointed when earlier this year I emailed them to ask what their policy was on smart meters as I didn’t want one.

      They replied that their intention was to roll them out over the coming years as part of a nationwide government scheme, and the wording of the email very much gave the impression that legally every customer had to have a smart meter, even if they didn’t quite say that outright.

      When I pulled them up on the wording, and reminded them that I was not legally required to have a smart meter, they did have the grace to back down and promised to take a look at this site. Since then, we’ve had no further contact, so I don’t know where they currently stand. I imagine also that they are under pressure from the government to install smart meters. But I wouldn’t assume that just because they have ethical values around renewable electricity, they will necessarily be anti-smart meters. This may in large part be because they don’t realise that smart meters aren’t the overwhelmingly positive move they’re cracked up to be, so the more we their customers state our opposition and seek to educate them and other small ethical suppliers like Ecotricity, Ebico, Utility Warehouse etc, the better I reckon.

  12. But what about Section 88(3)(b) of the Energy Act 2008 which seems to prohibit the supply through anything other than a smart meter. So perhaps you can refuse to allow people to enter to install a smart meter but the downside may be that you cannot then have any power.

    • Hi Derek,
      Thanks for raising this. Section 88(3)(b) does not prohibit non-Smart Meters. It refers to meters that comply with technical specifications for meters that include remotely-accessible Meters but not at the exclusion of non-remotely accessible Meters.

  13. Due to electricity arrears Southern Electric fitted a ‘pay-as-you-go’ meter three years ago. It is in the hall cupboard, just outside my front door (about ten feet from my bed).

    I don’t know if it is a smart meter but I am presuming so.I am going to find out. If it is, what are my legal rights when it comes to getting the company to remove it?

    I understand a customer can refuse their installation, but what if they have already been installed?

  14. Phew. I’ve just looked at images of smart meters and can see I don’t have one. Yet.

    I have an old fashioned meter fitted outside, to the front of my flat that records my gas consumption. And of course there is the electric meter in the hall cupboard.

    My worry now is that either company could install a smart meter with out needing to gain entry to my flat, or to my neighbour’s flat across the hall – he has the same set up.

    • They could do, but all the letters I had asked for presence of the “occupier”, glad sent that mouse to live with the queen 🙂 the reason for the request for presence appears to be to gain consent. In the US these companies have been more aggressive and took the route of not seeking consent. Perhaps they are just accepting the risk to be sued.

    • If you get in touch with your energy company’s and put in a complaint – point them to this link https://www.gov.uk/smart-meters-how-they-work , which is the government website , that says clearly, that it is up to each individual to have a smart meter installed.
      I am writing letters to my MP, to get him to find out, how to put a halt to all this nonsense and also to show him, that energy company’s are going against the government regulations, and even ofgem’s, who actually have set up a code of practice.
      I presume, most energy company’s are trying to avoid telling their customers the full truth about smart meters – appeared to happen with mine.
      I have put in a complaint, which has reached 2nd stage at present.

      Everyone needs to do this, who isn’t happy about smart meters – write a letter of complaint to energy company and as many as possible to their MP.

      Could STOP SMART METERS UK perhaps set up a national petition , so that this issue could be brought up in parliament ?

  15. I would be interested to know if anyone else has engaged with any of the water companies over water smart meters?

    I am currently in discussion with Southern Water who, aside from asserting that their smart meters emit very little in the way of EMFs (far less than a mobile phone according to them), also claim that I HAVE to have one fitted because it’s a legal requirement in a high water stress area, which I assume East Sussex must be.

    Although the official wording I have seen so far indicates that it may be a legal requirement to have a water meter in a high stress water area, it doesn’t specify a smart meter. I have said I’m happy to have an analogue meter installed, but they say that there are none available as they have de-commissioned them.

    I am waiting on more info from them about the legalities, but wondered if anyone else had gone through this sort of ‘negotiation’ with their water supplier, and what had been the outcome? Water meters seem to be a bit of a grey area in terms of the legal requirement to have one when compared to energy meters where it’s more clear cut.

    • Liz,

      I have not dealt with water companies but I did serve notice to all of them through this website. What I think is from the experience I had with a power company who wanted to install a meter were deceitful from the beginning either by ommission, distortion or lies. I would not believe anything they write. It all depends the degree of fight left in you, don’t answer the door to them. After all you can encase the thing in a faraday cage and reduce effects if your concern is health alone. So, if it is as they say it is then why don’t they get a warrant or take it to court? I had threats of warrants etc…since then heard nothing more. Sounds like they lie, ommit and distort! I don’t know how one deals with crooks since they side step whatever you write, as in the BS of analogues being decommissioned.

      • Hi Mem
        Many thanks for your reply. Good to be reminded about the lies, distortions and omissions – no surprise really, but good to bear in mind. One of the things I find worrying is that they sound so utterly reasonable and convincing, and this will allay the fears of many people who are a little concerned but not very well informed.

        Water meters are harder to refuse in the sense that they tend to be installed outside the property (on the pavement I think?), so you can’t refuse to open the door to them.

  16. What I’d like to know is: what rights do tenants have?
    Are we going to be asked for permission or can landlords agree to Smart Meters whether we tenants want one or not.
    I’m sure that with all new rules for landlords (most good, having to have safety certs etc) it won’t be long before the Gov/EU decide that landlords must have smart meters fitted in all properties – they’ll think of some reason why, like ‘it means you are complying with energy efficiency and will get (another) certificate and without the certificate you can’t let your properties’.
    Does anyone trust this Gov? It doesn’t matter what they say, it matters what they do and if that means lying or changing laws to get their own way….no one could call Cameron ‘honest’.

    • Chris- I gather, the only way to stop it, is to make a noise…

      Even as a tenant, unless the energy bill is included in your rent, the contract with the energy company is with you , not the landlord.
      Therefore, if you write a complaint email as well as phoning your energy company , they need to listen, if you chose not to wish to have a smart meter.

      The whole point is everyone has got a choice – it’s yours to make, all you have to do is stand up against it, make it plain, that if that is what you want, no smart meter ever to be fitted.
      They will need to listen and take note, because if they don’t , they will break the law.

      Also write to your MP – ok ,I am not yet sure, how much that is achieving , but find someone on your side , who ever that maybe to help your case.

      No one can be forced to have a smart meter – I know they do try to make it sound, that they can…..

      The more of us , that say ‘no’ the more chance there will be in putting a stop to this.

  17. I’ve had a smart meter in my house for over a year now and it never me hard any did.

    • You mean, it hasn’t harmed you?

      If that is what you meant, how do you really know?
      Maybe you won’t find out until another few years or , or just simply haven’t realised.

  18. Great and informative website. Am already emailing everyone I can think of and various anti groups in allied areas. Contacts on various Housing Associations and Parish Councils, also the media.

    Any chance of a Google+ link as not everyone is on Twitter or FaceBook?

    I’m hoping to engage management at a local supermarket chain & a couple of local breweries among others. They have many hundreds of consumers.

    • Thanks Frazer, Google+ now added. Cheers.

  19. Hi. and thanks for adding G+.

    Just had a spate of emails in endorsing this chap when it comes to getting folk’s problems across – roger.helmer@europarl.europa.eu – he’s been very helpful on the anti wind turbine scene. I will be contacting him very shortly.

  20. Hi,

    interesting site. We have just received notice from thames water saying the same. using legistaltive powers to install meters in our borough (greenwich) as it has recently been classified as ‘seriously water stressed’. from what I can tell it seems like their workaround for people whom refuse entry to our premises is to bypass this and simply install on the public pavement at the stop valve (which we have no control over) from what I can tell they have intended to do this from the start. their service rep also warned us that refusing to grant entry (though it doesn’t applie in our case) would be met with a ‘no access’ charge which quite frankly is incredibly underhanded.

    anyone eperienced the same?

  21. Thank you so much for this serious information! I will be posting the printable flyers from your site all around the area where I live.
    All the best and thank you so much again.

  22. All this on the back of the ‘global warming’ babble. I see the paedophile riddled BBC is now introducing a scheme were no ‘climate deniers’ will be allowed airtime to counter the junk science they peddle.

  23. When we opt out of having a smart meter will we still incur the costs via our bills? It is probably worth it anyway.

  24. I have been contacted by SSE who provide our electricity (we are billed by Ebico) as we need a new meter according to them. We are now going to have a new meter installed but it is not a smart meter and the helpful lady in the phone assured me that their stance is that smart meters are optional. I hope that they still think like that when it comes to our turn to be offered one!

    • The lady of course wasn’t in the phone but on it!

  25. Nobody is mentioning the health effects – the radiation that will be spread around your home. I have needed to get rid of my wifi in my house and could not tolerate a smart metre in my home. The thought of being hemmed in by neighbours’ smart metres, as well as having them on the street outside, is very worrying, and a depressing thought.

  26. I’ve printed the leaflets off – I wish this kind of organisation existed for all EMF exposure.

    • Thanks – check out our blogroll on the right hand side for other campaigns that we are aware of. There are many campaigners out there but more are definitely needed.

  27. I intend to refuse a smart meter, but deep in my heart I just know if the roll out fails energy company lobbyists will push for legislation to make them compulsory or declare all old meters illegal. The compulsory installation of smart water meters to save water is a joke. During one drought Hosepipe ban a few years ago I contacted the water company to tell them of a derelict property with a broken water pipe continuously running. They did not care one bit, these meters are to save water yeah right, it is going to put my water bill up 300%

    • I think smart meters will be legally required in the sense that the Act of Parliament requires all power companies to fit smart meters. However, there is express no legal requirement for customers to allow the fitting of a smart meter. The government lamely says that ‘it doesn’t expect power companies will take legal action to require a customer to install a smart meter’. But there is no reason why they couldn’t try and it would be interesting to see how the courts responded. Alternatively, I guess they could just cut off anyone who refuses a smart meter on the basis that the law requires them to install one and if they are not allowed by the customer to do so then they cannot legally supply that customer. And that would mean the customer would have to go to court to get their supply back.

      Could be interesting.

      • There is no law obligating suppliers to fit Smart Meters – suppliers are only obligated to offer them according to present Government policy. And the policy is based on the highly questionable business case surrounding the Smart Meter programme which suggests there is an economic net gain to be had from them.

        See here: http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/a-reminder-your-rights-in-relation-to-smart-meters/

        Not even the EU – the entity fronting this agenda here in Europe – obligates their installation. 10 countries within the EU have rejected them, including Germany.

        No-one – either now or in the future – can LAWFULLY obligate you to have a carcinogenic surveillance device installed in your home. If there does come a point where there is some kind of statutory or contractual mandate, then the lie that these devices are there to empower consumers would be impossible to maintain.

        • Well not necessarily !! Section 88(3)(b) of the Energy Act 2008 states that the Secretary of State may order “a prohibition on the supply of gas or electricity through a meter other than a meter which complies with a technical specification under paragraph (a);”. And guess what, the technical specifications are for smart meters. So if the energy companies were to be banned from supplying other than through a smart meter then an individual householder’s rights would be neither here nor there.

          • Section 88(3)(b) does not prohibit non-Smart Meters – it refers to meters that comply with technical specifications for meters that include remotely-accessible Meters but not at the exclusion of non-remotely accessible Meters. Even if it did, it would not change the fact that the person(s) forcing you to have one would have a case to answer for breaching Articles 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

            “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

  28. South East Water state they are not fitting smart meters but traditional AMF meters.

    They are forcing these on people quote

    ‘Our meters are normally located outside properties at the boundary of the street and the radio modules do not emit a signal continuously or even at frequent intervals. The radio module is idle for most of the time and only transmits for a few seconds when the meter is being read. This typically occurs once every six months for domestic premises. The radio module used is very low powered at 25 milliwatts and the signal rapidly decreases with the distance travelled. The average power of a wireless router used for transmitting broadband around homes is around 300 milliwatts, 12 times that of our meters radio modules, but routers transmit continuously. The average mobile phone emits 2 watts which is 80 times more than the radio modules of our meters.

    The radio modules on our meters operate at a frequency of 868 Mhz which is the same frequency as street light controller, some security products and some car fobs, and any of these could be a source of interference. However, our meters’ radio modules only transmit data when they are being read, usually twice a year, which is not long enough to cause interference. If a radio module was faulty and constantly transmitting, the battery would be exhausted within a week.

    ‘ The entire area supplied by South East Water was designated as an area of serious water stress and our Water Resources Management Plan, which includes a metering programme covering our whole supply area, was approved by the Secretary of State.

    Our Customer Metering Programme is being carried out in accordance with our legal rights and obligations. Water companies are entitled to meter premises when the premises to be metered are located in an area which has been determined by the Secretary of State to be an area of serious water stress and are included in a metering programme specified in the relevant company’s water resources management plan. These rights are granted by section 144B of the Water Industry Act 1991 (the “Act”) and the Water Industry (Prescribed Conditions) Regulations 1999 as amended in 2007.

    We are entitled to install meters and to charge by reference to volume (i.e. apply metered charges) and the owners or occupiers of the premises concerned are not able to refuse the installation of a water meter. We will send you a notice of the installation date before metering works commence in your area.’

    So how do we stop them fitting any meter without our consent and what is to stop them changing them to smart meters afterwards ?

  29. Nope , no consultation, no contract and now refusing to answer any more questions.

    South East Water

    I have sought to provide additional clarification on the statement from Dan Rogerson MP in his letter of 3rd April 2014. This statement was correct as there is no government policy to introduce compulsory metering, because the decision to implement compulsory metering in water stressed areas is made by water companies; not by government. There is legislation allowing water companies in water stressed areas to introduce compulsory metering in accordance with their water resources management plan. These conditions and the relevant legislation have been explained in a previous response but our explanations are reproduced below for ease of reference.

    In response to your request for a contract, I clarify below the basis of the legal relationship between water companies and customers. This relationship is based on statute and not on contract. Water companies have a statutory duty to provide a supply of water for domestic purposes under section 52 of the Water Industry Act 1991. Occupiers of premises who receive a service have a corresponding obligation under the same Act to pay for water charges.

    Water charges are fixed and collected in accordance with our statutory powers and our charges scheme, not under a contract. A water company has powers under section 142(1)(a) & (b) of the Act to fix charges and recover those charges from any persons to whom it provides services. Our charges are set out in our charges scheme which is produced pursuant to sections 143 and 143A of the Act and are approved by our regulator Ofwat. Furthermore, section 142(2A) of the Act provides that water charges in respect of a dwelling must be set in accordance with a charges scheme and cannot be set in accordance with a contract. Section 144(1)(a) of the Act states that supplies of water provided by a water company shall be treated as services provided to the occupiers for the time being of any premises. This section and section 142, read together, mean that water supplies are services provided to the occupiers and that water companies are entitled to recover charges under section 142(1)(b) of the Act from any of them.

    In respect of the legislation relating to our metering programme we reiterate the following: Water companies are entitled to meter premises when the premises to be metered are located in an area which has been determined by the Secretary of State to be an area of serious water stress and are included in a metering programme specified in the relevant company’s water resources management plan. These rights are granted by section 144B of the Water Industry Act 1991 and the Water Industry (Prescribed Conditions) Regulations 1999 as amended in 2007. It is on this basis that South East Water’s metering programme is carried out.

    The entire area supplied by South East Water was designated as an area of serious water stress and our water resources management plan, which includes a metering programme covering our whole supply area, was approved by the Secretary of State. Water resources management plans are prepared by water companies in accordance with their statutory obligations and following a process which ensures public scrutiny of the plan. The main provisions of the Act relating to water resources management plans are section 37A to 37D.

    Our water resources management plan is available on our website. The designation has been updated in 2013 and I have provided below the link to the Environment Agency’s final classification document, which you may find helpful:
    http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/library/position/41229.aspx.

    The Act and the regulations referred to above can be found on http://www.leglisation.gov.uk. Please note that the Act has been recently amended by the Water Act 2014 which can also be found on that website.

    As all the relevant conditions set out above are satisfied, South East Water is entitled to install meters and to charge by reference to volume (i.e. apply metered charges) and the owners or occupiers of the premises concerned are not able to refuse the installation of a water meter.

    Metering allows water companies to preserve water resources and to promote the efficient use of water by all customers. Our metering programme is an important part of our long term plan to manage water supplies. Water metering is a cost effective way of managing water for both customers and water companies. Customers with a water meter tend to use approximately 10% less water than those who are not.

    Water companies also have rights under section 162 of the Act to carry out metering works and section 172 of the Act grants specific powers of entry to any premises for the purposes of carrying out metering works, and for any inspection or testing, examination or reading of a meter.

    In closing, I would again reassure you that our metering programme has the full support of the Company’s Board and Chairman. As our explanations on this subject have now been exhausted, we will not enter into further correspondence with you on the matter.

    • Sorry for delay in replying. Dan Rogerson’s remarks clearly state that the water company has to consult with you first.

      Irrespective of South East Water’s remarks, we are not aware of any organisation or individual that has the right to irradiate you and collect personal data about your behaviour at home without your express permission. You may wish to ask for a letter, written and signed by a member of the board of directors, stating that they are happy to take full and personal liability for any harm caused to you and your family from their ‘Smart’ Meters. If their meters are safe, then presumably they will have no problem in being accountable for forcing you to have one.

  30. So pleased I came across this website. Have had letters from Southen Electric advising that my meter is old and they will replace it with a Smart Meter. Called to book meter change and advised that I wanted a standard meter not a smart meter

    I met with some resistance but I was polite and said that I did not want any more radio emissions in the house than I really needed to have.

    The advisor accepted my wish and a standard meter replacement has been booked.