OFGEM Complaint: British Gas Misleading Customers On Smart Meters

[Update: Ofgem has CONFIRMED that British Gas is misleading customers on Smart Meters – see here for Ofgem’s response and omissions] [SSM UK]  Subscriber Chris Jones lodged a formal complaint with UK energy regulator OFGEM this morning about British Gas’s current Smart Meter tactics, and kindly forwarded a copy of his letter to us so we could publish it here.

Chris comprehensively pulls apart the British Gas Smart Meter Charter which can be downloaded here.

If you are minded to making OFGEM aware of any concerns you have about British Gas’s sales tactics, feel free to take a copy of Chris’s note and forward it to OFGEM yourself  (consumeraffairs@ofgem.gov.uk).  You might even like to copy it to your local MP and newspaper too.

British Gas is targeting its huge customer base with Smart Meters, and we thank Chris for his efforts.  [/]

COMPLAINT TO OFGEM RE: BRITISH GAS SMART METER TACTICS

From: Chris Jones
Sent: 03 August 2013 08:03
To: consumeraffairs@ofgem.gov.uk
Subject: ASA, OFT and Smart Meters

Good Morning,

I would like to complain about the high pressure tactics being used by British Gas to support its Smart Meter programme. You will gather that there are so many unanswered or deferred questions about Smart Meters (especially involving bad information about obligation, lack of information about variable tariffs and consumer protection, potential health issues) that I am concerned that the programme might be being mis-sold to consumers.

The following complaint against British Gas was declined by the Advertising Standards Authority on the grounds that it does not regulate Customer Charters. The Office of Fair Trading refers consumers to OFGEM.

1. The British Gas (BG) Charter (attached) gives the impression that Smart Meters are compulsory although a customer could delay installation on request:

Compulsion: “…All houses in the UK need to have them by 2019 and we’ve already started to install them”

Deferral: “…If you don’t want to have a smart meter installed yet, just tell us”

In fact Smart Meters are NOT Compulsory.

“Just yet” also suggests inevitability – it will have to be fitted one day, when in fact customers do have a choice to PREVENT installation. Furthermore, approved meters can be used indefinitely provided they remain accurate – so again British Gas’ suggestions are in question.

2. Furthermore, I understand that in a customer letter from British Gas Customer Relations Team representative, Kate Sadler, the customer was told:
“Every single one of our [British Gas] customers is going to have a Smart Meter installed.  This isn’t a customer choice, as we’re replacing all our meters with Smart Meters… We’re installing these meters across our whole customer base as they’re a benefit to our customers… It’s a government initiative… Unfortunately I’m unable to stop this from happening just for you, as as I’ve mentioned above all our customers will be having these installed.”

This contradicts ‘Smart meters, a guide: Dept of Energy & Climate Change’ Jan 22 2013 which stated:

“…Energy companies will be required to install smart meters and take all reasonable steps to reach everyone. However we do not expect energy companies to take legal action to fit a smart meter if they cannot get the householders co-operation”.

Smart Meters are NOT Compulsory and elsewhere British Gas admit:
“… you do not have to have a smart meter if you do not want one; we will remove your details from our rollout programme.”

3. BG say:

“…Once you’ve got a smart meter you can still change supplier; your rights haven’t changed”

In fact the Government has suggested that you rights will change:

Hansard WS19, 13 May 2013 Baroness Verma said this:

“We have decided that from the end of this year, when a customer switches from a supplier who has provided them with a compliant smart meter, the new supplier cannot replace that smart meter with a dumb meter and must either rent the previous supplier’s meter or install their own new smart meter.”

So your rights will change, because after the end of this year, the Government intends that you cannot get rid of a Smart Meter and go back to a dumb meter.

4. BG say:

“…When your smart meters are in place, you can stay on your existing tariff or choose a new one that suits you better.”

BG omit to mention the prospect of new variable tariffs which will VARY the unit price. Reported operating experience abroad is that 80% of consumers see their bills go up with Smart Meters, so how does BG claim that its new tariffs will suit consumers better ? What are BG’s intentions for pricing the existing tariffs ?

5. BG say:

“…We promise to take care of your personal and energy data. Your information will be kept secure to protect it
from misuse.”

How does BG justify suggesting that data will be “secure” when there are so many concerns that Smart Meter broadcasts are vulnerable to data hacking which might allow burglars to detect whether a property is occupied ? Are BG guaranteeing security ?

6. BG do not mention the wireless technology used by Smart Meters. No mention at all. This is interesting. There ARE increasing health concerns about the wireless technology. UK standards are less onerous than other countries which have decided to use wired Smart Meters instead.

7. BG do not say how much their Smart Meter programme is costing consumers along with how much consumers are expected to save. DECC expect a typical consumer to save 3%. More frugal consumers are unlikely to save money once the costs of Smart Metering programme are accounted for.

8. BG over-simplify the supposed benefits of Smart Meters. As well as noticing energy patterns, once variable tariffs are applied that change the unit price at any time of day, Smart Meters require intensive monitoring by the consumer. However, BG only suggest that monitoring is about consumption. BG do not mention price:

“…If you can see the energy you use, you can start to make changes that help you save money.”

9. BG do not mention what to do if a consumer never wants a Smart Meter fitted. BG do not mention that a consumer will not (after the end of this year) be able to have Smart Meter removed. Correspondingly, BG do not say how a consumer can have a Smart Meter removed before the end of this year.

10. BG say:

“…Once you’ve got a smart meter you can still change supplier; your rights haven’t changed”

BG do not admit that Smart Meters allow the Energy Supplier to remotely cut off supplies for revenue protection and as admitted by the Minister, in future for Grid Management purposes. Accordingly, the consumers rights will change with a Smart Meter because they may be forced to accept interruptable tariffs or find themselves having to pay more to have an uninterruptable tariff.

11. BG say:

“…We won’t sell your energy consumption data to any third parties.”

As I understand it, all Energy Supplier consumption data will be centrally held. It may not be sold, but BG do not mention that consumers’ data will be held in central data collection – or any future prospect of use of that consumer data being liberalized, or used as a basis for taxation (such as carbon taxation). Again, BG cannot justify the statement because BG does not control the centrally-collected data.

Regards

Chris Jones

41 Comments
  1. This fight against smart meters is not a fight against just smart meters, it is a fight against “CORPORATE BULLYING”.
    Does Great britain have any “Anti-Bullying” las in the land?
    If a school bully bullies a school mate, don’t they punish the bully?
    If yes, then why not punish the Corporate Bully?

    Corporations are adament and bullying the mass. We have to hit them with the same bullying attack as theirs. Bully the executives, bully the technicians who come to install, bully them all.

    • Well said Chandra its a ploy to force us to have smart meters they cant ? They cannot use force ? So lets turn the tables and bully all the utility companies and the government see how they like it ?Its a money making scam by the government telling us its going to cost us less when in fact it will cost you more ?British Gas you should be ashamed of yourselves tell your customers the truth .How can you call yourself s British and your meters Smart ,and your latest campaign to give customers free electricity on a saterday.You should change your name to Bully Meters .The British public will see right through this ?

    • BG recently fitted smart Meyer at our premises and our bills have gone up by 700%!! Yes, 700%. I contacted BG and they said that some smart meters could be faulty, but if I wanted someone from BGto come out to check the meter, then it will cost our company £250 call out charge!!
      I am lost now and I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t want to get BG to check the meter as they will just lie and say the meter is good.
      Anyone with any suggestions?? Thanks.

      • Thanks for your message. Wow – what a massive increase – but you are by no means alone. Have you requested that they replace the meter with a non-Smart version? If not then that’s the first step. Remember – there is no obligation to have one.

  2. Very important information, extremely grateful for all that you do.
    Rob D’Arcy.

  3. Consumers can wrap these vile things in LEAD. That will screw them up!

  4. Excellent letter. Explains the whole situation simply and unemotionally. I have shared this with my friends on Facebook in an effort to get the word out about this.
    When I wrote to British Gas informing them I did not want a Smart Meter, they sent me a rude and arrogant reply!

  5. Thank you Chris Jones for that information and all you do regarding Smart meters is it clear that smart metes are not mandatory?

  6. We promise to take care of your personal and energy data. Your information will be kept secure to protect it from misuse.” – See more at: http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/ofgem-complaint-british-gas-misleading-customers-on-smart-meters/#comment-60131

    How is British gas going to do that? I would like to see proof?How are you going to keep it secure ? Again British Gas no mention of health issues relating to Smart Meters non of which is mentioned in the latest add you are misinforming the public ,does this not come under trading standards? Any one throw some light please to clarify ?

  7. When I wrote to British Gas asking to opt out of the Smart Meter program I had a very polite letter from Charlotte Wedd (Director) saying that I would not be included in the Roll Out and thanking me for being a BG customer. This is at odds with the letters being sent out now. Take back our power and refuse to be bullied.

  8. Being ‘smart’ and using the law to protect us is the way to go.. But at the end of the day.. we are dealing with those who lie and twist the law and those who will change the law to suit their agenda

    If I loose my legal right to remove a smart meter.. then I shall take the law into my own hands..

    No means No and I will remove it.

    • I agree with you David its our human right to say No they cannot take that away? I have signed the online Notice of violation and I have also served it to our site owner see what happens ?How is he going to challenge that? I have sent a letter to the government awaiting their reply?

  9. If it is possible to opt out of having a smart meter, then to say that once you have had one fitted it cannot be changed back to a dumb or analogue meter is nothing if not discriminatory. The government and Baroness Verma need to be forced into doing a U turn on this. It is plainly wrong and not in the best interest of energy consumers.

    The proposed variable tariffs are nothing but a licence for exploitation. The fact that the government deems it acceptable to endorse such behaviour speaks volumes about the apocalyptic state of the British economy and just how grasping our politicians and government ministers really are.

  10. Dave, seems like the government are making up the rules and law to work on their side?

  11. I was told by British Gas that a smart meter was compulsory and that there was no option.
    I moved onto another supplier.

    • The same happened to me – British Gas actually broke out in laughter when I told her I wanted the smart meter removed, so I switched providers.

  12. Chris, it’s the bareface LIE which gets me! If BG lie so brazenly and easily to their customers you have to believe this is also how they behave with their business partners/employees/Government departments. A quick 4-line email to the letters page of newspapers simply to show up the simple fact that BG lies bigtime to its customers and therefore probably to everyone else they deal with would be very effective. I think people will be shocked.. what else are they lying to their customers about? Their tariffs? Obviously not to be trusted. Is it getting so we have to check in Hansard before we can find out the truth of any of these big company’s statements? I guess they’re so rich (from fleecing us no doubt) they don’t care about the fines, but enough bad publicity will go a long way to showing this is not a company people should be dealing with.

  13. I wonder if any MP’s, peers or ministers with children or elderly relatives have these toxic nasties screwed to the sides of their properties?

    I suspect – like state education – it’s there for others!

    The lead lining idea is great. So is hitting it hard with a nine iron!

    • I doubt there’s even one on the duck house…

  14. “all Energy Supplier consumption data will be centrally held”

    I don’t know that this is true – the DCC certainly isn’t meant to be holding it. What body are you thinking of?

  15. I’ve been pestered by letter, email and text about having a new smart meter on the basis that my couple of year old meter is faulty! I called them on the number given in the correspondence and told them I do not want a smart meter again got the faulty meter nonsense, the fault is apparently that the display goes blank. Well I managed to give them a reading not so long ago so it’s obviously working.

    I cannot believe they are stooping to such low tactics.

    • There seems to be an epidemic of faulty meters right now. Harassment systems, on the other hand, are working perfectly.

  16. Actually your all wrong and barking up the wrong tree.
    It’s not British gas etc saying you must have a smart meter. It’s the government and the EU.
    I work for a utility company and believe me, we don’t want to do it. It’s a huge pain, if we don’t, come 2019 we get a massive fine.
    That’s why bills are going up. This technology is not free.

    Wanna blame someone. Blame the people who voted labour. They got us into bed with the EU. It’s an EU led initiative.

    • Sorry, Chris, but Germany have refused to have them fitted as they believe they are a total waste of money. it is our civil service and the energy companies who wish to be able to control our energy use when the lights start to go out.

    • Chris part of what you say may be true but you can’t just blame Labour for everything, Thatcher and Major did more to embed us into the EU and if other countries have opted out then the blame must fall with our current Tory led coalition if it’s not the gas companies.

  17. Oh and also no. You don’t have a right to say no. Or remove it. It’s not your property. It’s the suppliers. As of 2015 there will be no other meter but smart meters being made. The new type digital meters have a 7 year shelf life. The suppliers can and will replace these, with a warrant if they go faulty and an accurate read cannot be obtained (another legal requirement).

    There is too much scaremongering and poor information passed off as fact on this page.
    I don’t see the issue. It’s free. Your bills won’t change, you won’t get a meter reader any more.

    Unless you steal and set the alarm off. You won’t notice any difference.

    People need to get a grip.

    • Dear Chris,

      I am afraid you are wrong.

      Firstly – regarding who is driving/mandating this programme – in 2006, the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive (Article 13) contained specific requirements for member states to encourage the use of smart meters so long as they are technically possible, financially reasonable and proportionate in relation to the potential energy savings. In 2009, the Electricity Directive and Natural Gas Directive added a requirement that 80% of consumers have smart meters by 2020, subject to a positive cost-benefit analysis for markets and consumers. None of these directives mandated the need for cancer-causing spyware which placed individual homes nor the entire domestic power supply of Britain at risk from cyber attack. The current UK Smart Meter vision is needlessly reckless and represents substantial over-reach of the directives they purportedly seek “compliance” with.

      Even with that said, though, the UK Government has stated very clearly that whilst all Energy suppliers will need to take “reasonable steps to install Smart Meters for all domestic and smaller non-domestic customers by 2019 [now 2020]” 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”. http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/a-reminder-your-rights-in-relation-to-smart-meters/. The Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change himself has confirmed this to us directly via the DECC website:

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

      There is NO LAW obligating ANYONE to have a Smart Meter in their home. If you know of one, please tell us. If not, we would love to hear where you are you getting your information from and what steps you took to validate it. Have you kept a record of people you’ve advised on this?

      Regarding the Smart Meter being energy company’s property (Smart Meter) – whilst that may be true (it’s more likely to be financed), the placement of a device on someone’s home in order to meter usage does NOT come with a claim the householder’s property nor an inability for the householder to remove the device and replace it – the right to have your own meter installed (which one would pay for oneself) is provisioned through the Electricity and Gas Acts, as we discuss here http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/a-reminder-your-rights-in-relation-to-smart-meters/. The energy provider can have their Smart Meter sent back to them in the post – no theft, no loss of property, no breach of the law.

      Regarding the “massive fine” your company faces for failing to violate people’s freedom of choice, breaching the law and blanketing the country with Smart Meters. Who, exactly, is threatening you with these enormous fines and just how “massive” are we talking about here? Please confirm this for us as this is VERY big news and we will be taking it up immediately with DECC, the regulator and our legal advisors.

      The end of analogue meters is also news to us – please can you provide a citation for this as it’s the first we’ve heard and may upset a few analogue meter manufacturers we know of.

      PS – Labour didn’t take us into Europe. Ted Heath did – the Tory PM at the time.

    • “Unless you steal and set the alarm off. You won’t notice any difference.”

      We’ve noticed a difference alright the price has shot up further still since we had the smart meter.

  18. British Gas are a disgrace. They lied to me, too about meter installation.

    They claimed not to be able to find the conversation I had with one of their advisers in which I made arrangements to clear my debt. So,after trying and failing to force me into another unworkable arrangement, they sent workmen (a couple of days later) to install a pay as you go meter. I didn’t think to make a note of the adviser’s name…thinking BG being a large company they’d be efficient or, at least vaguely competent; and I certainly was not expecting them to lie.

    Subsequent calls have either been disconnected in mid conversation or, I get put through to the wrong department. Don’t get me started on the generally, useless customer service helpers from a land far away.

    Until the government clamp down on British gas, they can treat us with disdain and continue to make large amounts of money from us and keep their executives in warm comfort.

  19. I’m going to clear up a few things.
    Firstly, to remove an electricity meter you have to break the seals fitted by the DNO. Unless you have a ticket from them to do this then you are breaking the law.
    People were not talking about having their own installed from new, I have never known of this despite being in the industry for 7 years, no company I know of would agree to this, anyway they were talking about removing the company’s meter, which is illegal. It’s not your property. You have no authorisation from the DNO to pull the main fuse to do this. Therefore you can’t do it.
    In your terms and conditions it wi state you can’t use your own equipment
    Interfering with the equipment is criminal damage. Please don’t try and tell me otherwise as its my day to day job, and as stated in the above posts. Your quite clearly wrong.

    As for cancer causing spyware. Please provide proof that the type of wifi signals the meters use to communicate with each other, and the gsm band they talk to the head end that causes cancer. It’s radio waves. I’m sure if they caused cancer, with the amount of tv and radio being broadcast, mobile signals and wifi everywhere, we would all be dead. When I say fact I mean fact. Official study’s.

    How they spy, when they interact with nothing other than themselves is beyond me. I think you may need a new tinfoil hat.

    Please point me to where I said there was any law to have one. It is in the gas and electricity acts that the meters must be inspected and read. This is also tied into your terms and conditions.
    The consumer does have a legal obligation to allow this. If it is refused for an extended period, under the gas and electricity acts then the company can apply for a warrant and use a locksmith to gain entry.

    In 2015 dumb ie most 4 or 5 terminal credit meters will cease production. After this date you will have no option to have one. Believe it not. Meters must be changed every 7 years. This is not enforced. But if they wanted to they could. You could have no meter at all or a smart meter. They would be your options.

    Please provide me with the companies who still produce analogue meters. I have not seen a new dial meter made or fitted in my time in the industry.

    The fine is the cert (carbon effiency reduction target) basically by a certain date, the energy companies combined customers carbon output must be below a certain level. If not the company (the parent company) gets a 10% turnover fine. This is why solar energy etc has been subsidised, in the case of British gas, the parent company is centrica. The fine on centricas turnover would be 1.8 billion.

    People mood about bills. The company’s give smart meters and in home displays to help customers use and waste less energy, people don’t want them. Go figure.

    I also said got us into bed with, ie Blair and co in their last term. Rather than trying to make a point I am wrong. Please read what I wrote properly.

    There really is no proven danger or issue with smart meters. Some people don’t like change. Some people want to fight against the bully corporations, with some the whole word should be non profit ideology that would not work.

    • Hi Chris,

      You said: “I’m going to clear up a few things.  Firstly, to remove an electricity meter you have to break the seals fitted by the DNO.  Unless you have a ticket from them to do this then you are breaking the law.   People were not talking about having their own installed from new, I have never known of this despite being in the industry for 7 years, no company I know of would agree to this, anyway they were talking about removing the company’s meter, which is illegal. It’s not your property. You have no authorisation from the DNO to pull the main fuse to do this. Therefore you can’t do it.   In your terms and conditions it wi state you can’t use your own equipment  Interfering with the equipment is criminal damage. Please don’t try and tell me otherwise as its my day to day job, and as stated in the above posts. Your quite clearly wrong.”

      No so.  If you want to have a ‘Smart’ Meter removed and your energy company is playing hardball, they will need to bear in mind two things:

      1. They are potentially in breach of articles 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
      2. Customers have the right to end their agreements with the providers and instruct them to remove their cancer-causing spyware.  If the energy company refuses, and there is no longer an agreement between the two parties, the meter potentially becomes the property of the householder.

      If you serve notice to an energy company that you want their ‘Smart’ Meter removing – you might even tell them that you are planning to bulldoze your garage (where your Smart Meter is) to make room for a solar ‘allotment’ – and you also provide them with a reasonable deadline for removing their surveillance equipment, then they have an obligation to comply – not withstanding any reasonably dialogue.

      After you change your mind and decide to create a bee sanctuary in that empty space instead of a small solar farm, and plug back into the grid, you can have your own non-Smart Meter installed – on the same day quite possibly – and sign up with a more helpful provider.  This is because nobody has the lawful right to force you to have a piece of cancer-causing surveillance technology in your home.

      The point you repeatedly make about being prevented from touching the energy company’s junk is derived from the scenario where this is clearly stated in their terms and you are still a party to those terms – once you cancel the contract, though, party obligations come to an end.

      You said: “As for cancer causing spyware. Please provide proof that the type of wifi signals the meters use to communicate with each other, and the gsm band they talk to the head end that causes cancer. It’s radio waves. I’m sure if they caused cancer, with the amount of tv and radio being broadcast, mobile signals and wifi everywhere, we would all be dead. When I say fact I mean fact. Official study’s.” 

      When you say “official studies” are you thinking of studies funded by the industry itself?

      Here is one funded by T-Mobile (known as ‘EE’ in the UK) which explains in some depth how mobile phones (GSM/3G) give rise to carcinogenesis and cancer-promotion.  It is quite damning stuff – which might explain why most people have never heard of it and why it was covered up.  http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/t-mobile-funded-study-into-mobile-phone-radiation-covered-up-to-obfuscate-profound-health-risks/

      Regarding WiFi – here is a patent application by Swisscom – a Swiss communications giant.  It again talks openly about the genotoxic effects of wifi and it’s “clear damage to hereditary material” (i.e. DNA) – DNA damage is a known oncological risk factor.  http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/major-phone-firm-patent-admits-non-thermal-exposures-to-wireless-radiation-is-genotoxic-causes-clear-damage-to-hereditary-material/

      If you need more, try here:  http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/resources/resources-scientific-studies-into-the-health-effects-of-emr/  (search “cancer” or “leukaemia” or “glioma”, etc.)

      To be clear, Smart Meters use pulsed microwaves and can expose people to a great deal more radiation than cell phones and TV antennas… If you want to read some epidemiological analysis of communities whose health has been badly affected by living near TV and radio towers, though, try here:
      http://www.neilcherry.com/documents/90_r2_EMR_Living_Near_Broadcast_Towers_Health.pdf
      http://www.neilcherry.com/documents/90_r3_EMR_Sutro_Paper_09-02.pdf
      http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/5/1/184 (effects of TV tower inhibiting skin damage repair and leading to melanoma)

      Not everything which is harmful kills you immediately. Remember smoking, asbestos, etc.? There’s a long list of public health disasters at the hands of things governments previously insisted “there was no evidence of harm” from.

      You said: “How they spy, when they interact with nothing other than themselves is beyond me. I think you may need a new tinfoil hat.“

      Here is a report by Dr Ian Brown of the Oxford University Internet Institute. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2215646  In it, he offers up a list of just a small sample of the kind of sensitive information that can be collected about people with Smart Meters, including:

      – When are you usually away from home? Is your household protected with an electronic alarm system? If so, how often do you arm it?
      – How often do you arrive home around the time the bars close?
      – On what days and during what times do you watch TV?
      – How often do you eat in?
      – What’s the relative frequency of microwave dinners to three-pot feasts?
      – Are you a Laundromat person, or do you have your own washer and drier?
      – Alabama recently passed a tax provision requiring obese state employees to pay for their health insurance unless they actively work to reduce their body mass index. So: why haven’t you used your treadmill at home any time in the last week? You clearly have not been out of the house and away from a computer or TV long enough for aerobic exercise.
      – How often do you get a full night’s sleep v. drive sleep deprived?
      – How much home time do you spend in front of your computer?
      – Do you tend to eat hot or cold breakfasts?
      – How often do you entertain?
      – Are you a restless sleeper, getting up frequently throughout the night?
      – Do clinically depressed or bipolar individuals have distinctive energy profiles? What about people with behavioural disorders? Could you tell if someone hadn’t been taking his or her medication?
      – How often are you late to work, or rushing Does the time it takes you to get from your to get there on time? home to your workplace require that you break the speed limit to get there?
      – Are any of your appliances failing or Do you own lots of gadgets? operating below optimal efficiency?
      – In a custody battle: Have you ever left your child home alone? How often, and for how long?
      – In a worker’s compensation hearing: How is it, with your disabled back, you were able to turn on the TV in the upstairs of your home less than a minute after turning off the lights downstairs?

      Not all spy work nowadays is done with trench coats and dark glasses. Just ask the former CIA chief, General David Petraeus: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/petraeus-tv-remote/.

      Your point about them “interacting with nothing other than themselves” is wrong. They serve data to a centralised, government-created database which can potentially feed a whole host of organisations, agencies, companies and other third parties with details of your life – all of which is well beyond the scope of the Smart Meter ‘vision’ that the public is being duped into.  They also broadcast this information wirelessly, across the web – meaning anyone with the capability can intercept that data link and access the information.

      You said: “Please point me to where I said there was any law to have one.”

      In your first comment you said “It’s not British gas etc saying you must have a smart meter. It’s the government and the EU.”

      Government typically only has laws at its disposal to compel people to do something. In case anyone missed it, there is no law or obligation forcing anyone to have a Smart Meter.

      You said: In 2015 dumb ie most 4 or 5 terminal credit meters will cease production. After this date you will have no option to have one. Believe it not. Meters must be changed every 7 years. This is not enforced. But if they wanted to they could.

      Do you have a citation for the claim that ‘most’ non-Smart meters will cease production by 2015? If so, please provide it so we can review it. However, we feel its a little early to be calling a ‘top’ in non-Smart Meter production… especially when you consider the fact that meters they have been banned in certain territories and Germany has rejected them.

      You said: “The fine is the cert (carbon effiency reduction target) basically by a certain date, the energy companies combined customers carbon output must be below a certain level. If not the company (the parent company) gets a 10% turnover fine. This is why solar energy etc has been subsidised, in the case of British gas, the parent company is centrica. The fine on centricas turnover would be 1.8 billion.”

      Thanks for that information – it sounds like the energy companies have a bit of work to do. But where does the fine condition specifically state that the energy company will be hit if they fail to install Smart Meters please?  Do you have a document confirming this with the citation?  I can’t see where it says that it forces people to accept a Smart Meter (which was the point you made in your original “barking up the wrong tree” comment).

      You said: “There really is no proven danger or issue with smart meters.” 

      Please share any information that you have proving that Smart Meters are safe.

  20. I have had huge problems with BG, they are saying the smart meters are compulsory, I cannot get any help from customer service, and when I ask to speak to a manager they are rude and arrogant. I wont be ever using BG again, indeed this company needs a dose of its own medicine….

  21. People who are hearing the noise on the smart grid network please go to http://www.sandaura.wordpress.com Thousands of victims around the world suffering from the constant noise radiating on the Global grid.

    it is caused by the two way communication on the mesh layer of the smart grid. The power grid was and is not designed for two way communication, broadband over power-lines or power line communication.

    They know this and did it anyway regardless of the impact on societies.

    It must be shut down.

  22. I was called by British Gas about a year ago and just told that they were just calling to make the appointment to instal the smart meter, but there was nothing about it not being compulsory or even open to deferral. Like a mug I made the appointment, and I now have that elephant in the room reminding me in the winter when I’ve exceeded my budget for gas, so I turn my heating down. I cant remember the last time I was warm.

    Wish I had never agreed, but I didn’t know any different. Now reading this, it looks like I’m stuck with the thing. Very angry.

    • Hi BP – ask them to replace it if you feel you weren’t given the full picture about these things. They should oblige. If they don’t, email us using our contact us form and we’ll try to help.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_TLCd3Litg

      APS is lying about the intensity of their “smart” meter transmissions.
      In my letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission (below) there is a Youtube link to video proof of their lying. The video shows APS “smart” meters transmitting at over 400% stronger than APS claims, and about 20 times stronger than cell towers at 30 yards.

      As I ask in the letter, “If APS is lying intentionally, one must ask why. If APS is lying unintentionally then isn’t the public being placed at risk by a monopoly utility so inept that they do not even understand the technology they are using?”

      As I establish in the letter — and most unfortunately for Arizonans — the ACC’s lackadaisical and negligent approach to regulating has become such an established pattern, and the ACC’s indifference to the repeated lying of utilities so routine, that I now see the ACC as complicit in those lies, and as willing accomplices in fraud.

      Warren Woodward
      55 Ross Circle
      Sedona, Arizona 86336
      928 204 6434

      January 29, 2014

      Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC)
      Docket Control Center
      1200 West Washington Street
      Phoenix, Arizona 85007

      Re: Docket # E-00000C-11-0328

      Commissioners;

      I caught APS lying about the microwave transmissions of their “smart” meters early last year. I brought it to your attention and, characteristically, you did absolutely nothing.

      If you see it, will you believe it and do something about it now? Search Youtube for my name and APS Caught Lying [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_TLCd3Litg] and you will see APS “smart” meters broadcasting at over 400% more than the intensity claimed by APS in their dishonest and fraudulent “Myth vs Fact” sheet that APS sends to ratepayers and displays at their website (here: http://apsmeters.com/pdfs/Automated-Meters-Radio-Frequency%282%29.pdf ).

      In their “Myth vs Fact” sheet, APS claims their “smart” meters transmit microwaves at a strength of .0009 milliwatts per centimeter squared at 10 feet away. In my video you will see APS meters transmitting at .00389 milliwatts per centimeter squared. My equipment measures in microwatts per meter squared. The 38,900 microwatts per meter squared that I recorded in the video converts to .00389 milliwatts per centimeter squared. I suspect that APS uses milliwatts per centimeter squared because the numbers then seem much smaller and therefore give the impression of being less threatening. In any case, APS is lying — and by 432%. I proved it.

      In the video, note also the comparison with cell towers and that the APS “smart” meters are 20 times the intensity of being about 30 yards away from some major cell towers.

      The same questions I posed in my recent letter to you in which I exposed Navopache Electric lying about their “smart” meter transmissions apply in this instance as well. [http://images.edocket.azcc.gov/docketpdf/0000150913.pdf]

      If “smart” meter microwave radiation is no big deal, why are utilities nationwide — including APS — lying about it?

      Why are the monopoly utilities allowed to lie and deceive the public?

      How can ratepayers be expected to make informed decisions if their utility is allowed to lie to them?

      If APS is lying intentionally, one must ask why. If APS is lying unintentionally then isn’t the public being placed at risk by a monopoly utility so inept that they do not even understand the technology they are using? In either case, an immediate, thorough investigation by you is called for. In either case – and at the very least – shouldn’t APS be required to tell the truth about their “smart” meter transmissions with the same vigor and zeal with which they lied about their “smart” meter transmissions?

      Why haven’t you gotten a microwave analyzer and checked up on these false utility claims like I have been insisting you do for over two years?

      Why am I doing the work and research you should be doing with your multimillion dollar budget and hired help?

      When are you going to actually regulate instead of vegetate?

      Over the last two and a half years I have caught APS lying about almost all other aspects of their “smart” meters and you’ve done nothing. For example, the lies told in APS’s extortion fee request for those ratepayers who refuse a ‘smart” meter are almost too numerous to count. In that request APS is so completely dishonest they even sliced and diced a quote from a 2007 ACC decision to make the quote suit their purpose. [http://images.edocket.azcc.gov/docketpdf/0000144218.pdf]

      I have brought all that and more to your attention, yet you remain complacent and allow this mendacious company to perpetuate a fraud. Again, why is this monopoly is allowed to lie and deceive the public?

      Is it because of the money APS funneled (and lied about) to the election campaigns of ACC commissioners Bob Burns, Susan Smith and Bob Stump? [http://www.azcentral.com/business/consumer/articles/20131109arizona-utilities-cash-went-acc-campaigns.html]

      The Arizona Republic also caught APS lying about the funding of APS’s solar net metering negative advertising campaign. [http://www.azcentral.com/business/consumer/articles/20131030regulator-calls-out-solar-campaigns.html]. Your response was to reward the liars with a new fee from solar customers. Disgraceful!
      Commissioner Bob Burns asked the players involved in the solar net metering issue, including APS, for information about their advertising spending amounts. But no one he asked was under oath! Imagine – he must have expected serial liars to suddenly volunteer the truth. In my opinion, Burns’ “investigation” was strictly for show.And just like at previous ACC “smart” meter meetings, no one was under oath at the recent solar net metering meeting. Without formal hearings in which companies are under oath, companies can — and have — lied with impunity.

      Commissioners, your lackadaisical and negligent approach to regulating is such an established pattern – especially when APS is involved – that I no longer see it as inadvertent. Your indifference to the repeated lying of utilities has become routine. So I now see you as complicit in those lies, and as willing accomplices in fraud.

      Sincerely,

      Warren Woodward
      Cc: Governor Jan Brewer, Attorney General Tom Horne

      For more info on smart meters, the hum explained, dirty electricity
      go to http://www.sandaura.wordpress.com

  23. In May 2013 British Gas phoned me out of the blue to offer me a Smart Meter if I transfered from Eon they also offered me a one off credit of £150. I was keen to have a smart meter as my energy bills are high. Firstly they did not give me the credit and threatened to cut me off when I deducted it .They conducted a constant harassment through phoning my mobile number demanding the money although they eventualy said it had been an admin error. After transfering and three months had elapsed I phoned tham and was told they had no plans to fit them in my area.I then contacted Richard Jones their Head of Customer Services or Disservices as it should be called. Suffice to say they have now told me they cannot technically fit a smart meter at my property although they want to send in another engineer to review this. In my opinion they in my case were promising a smart meter to persuade me to to transfer without even knowing if they could fit them ! . I am preparing a Communication Pack covering my experience which I intend to have delivered to the personal address of each of the BG Directors to let them know what is going on within their tele-sales organisation to capture new customers .

  24. I had a Smart Meter fitted in June last year. It managed two meter readings to BG then packed up. The display unit was giving ridiculous readings, and it even changed dates at random. Then the Hub packed up. No signal to the display unit at all. The complaints department are fine until you start to lean on them a little, and then they turn rude and arrogant. Answers like ‘turn it off for two weeks then turn it on again’ don’t help. They refused to change the hub or the display unit (probably a half hour job) they insist something else is wrong. In desperation I wrote to my MP, he assures me he will look into it. I have lost the energy monitoring device which I had, and cannot now get to the knew meter to read it. (I have to get on the floor and put my arm in to press a button numerous times to activvate the readout whilst holding a torch in my other hand) I am a retired engineer and have tried to get hold of somebody technical to discuss the problem, alas this is not possible—all I can get is call centre telephonists who just read from scripts. I also sent BG three E/mails which were ignored. (Rapidly approaching eighty now and can do without this rubbish.)

  25. I am surprised people want Smart meters when we now know they are so dangerous.

  26. Jacqui. in my case apart from being pestered by BG to have a smart meter fitted, I can see the advantages for me. Not having to mess about gatting meter readings every month, being able to see instantly what I was using with both gas and electric. I worked with ionizing radiation for thirty years and took many risks—so at my age I am not bothered about small ammounts of none ionizing radiation, which we are bombarded with every day anyway. I think the radiation card is being overplayed.
    That’s not my problem anyway! they just can’t get my installation to work. They really are quite pathetic.

  27. I was told last year by British gas that we had to have the smart meter installed. The first bill that came in was over £900 for 3 months. Shock was an understatement. Since then we have had bills for £600 then £700 then that was refunded then another £600 and £500 added on top all on the same day in the middle of summer. We have just got another bill through for over £900 again I have been told to just get on with it and it’s our fault but if I want anyone to come out and check there equipment then I have to pay £200. I’ve contacted the energy ombudsman who has agreed to take my case on and looking to take it future. My neighbour has the same house as us its just a 3 bed nothing big and she pays £110 a month and is in credit. How do bg get away with it.