Smart meters set to cost Blighty as much as replacing Trident • The Register

‘Significant issues already exist’ with spybox tech, too

Smart meters will cost as much as the Trident nuclear deterrent to implement, with the full cost of the scheme rising to £19bn, according to a government report. [emphasis added]

Total lifetime costs of the programme have now risen by £2bn since 2013, according to a report by the Major Projects Authority.

In contrast, estimates of the new Trident procurement price it between £17.5bn and £23.4bn.

Surprisingly, the smart meter project has been flagged as “amber” — meaning “successful delivery appears feasible but significant issues already exist.”

This is despite a number of warnings that the programme is in danger of turning into a “costly failure”.

Earlier this year a report by the Energy and Climate Change Committee said it does “not believe” plans to install 53 million devices in homes and businesses by 2020 will be achieved.

Read more: Smart meters set to cost Blighty as much as replacing Trident • The Register.

2 Comments
  1. These meters must be avoided at all cost. They are of little use to the energy consumers of this country. That they can inform you of all energy used is correct that is exactly what the present meters do to create your invoice. We are all very aware that if we use electricity for cooking or heating the meter will spin wildly sending millions of pounds to the energy company.The new meter is useless to the consumer. I would like to hear a debate to hear how the new meter advocates can inform me of how I as a consumer will benefit.

  2. Robin – energy companies aren’t a big fan of Smart meters either (as I’ve noted on other posts), they’re only being implemented as a result of a mandate from the UK government. In turn, the UK government has decided to implement this mandate as a result of 2009 European Union regulations (directive 2009/72/EC to be precise).

    Obviously, energy companies will try to monetise the opportunity as much as possible, to recoup the large costs associated with the implementation (as any for-profit business would). Personally, I’m a fan of nationalising energy companies, but that’s another topic entirely.

    As you asked about Smart meter benefits, here’s a few:

    – vast reduction in estimated bills. Remote readings achieve this, and also mean the customer doesn’t need to present at the property to provide access to a meter reader.

    – potential new products leading to reduced energy bills i.e. providing your energy company with the ability to remotely control when your dishwasher/washing machine is turned on (overnight, to control load on the power grid), in return for cheaper energy.

    – larger amount of energy consumption information available for customers. As ‘what gets measured, gets managed,’ this generally leads to customers using less energy once they realise exactly how much energy they’re using.

    There’s many more benefits, but you get the idea.

    Along with the benefits come disadvantages, for example:

    – the meters are now electronic and will probably have a higher failure rate than mechanical meters.

    – customer can be remotely switched from credit to prepayment. Could be seen as both a benefit and disadvantage, depending on the point of view.

    – customer can be remotely disconnected. Could be seen as both a benefit and disadvantage, depending on the point of view.

    Source for last two items, version 0.8.1 of the DUIS (DCC (Data Communications Company) User Interface Specification), pages 114 and 288:

    http://www.smartdcc.co.uk/implementation/design-and-assurance/interface-specifications/dcc-user-interface-specification/