UK Energy Firm Caught Forcibly Installing Smart Meter Against Person’s Consent

This shocking video shows the moment Northern Irishman David Barr, who suffers from a medical condition which sometimes renders him housebound, has a Smart Meter forcibly installed in his property against his consent.

The video suggests that Power NI have acted way beyond their authority by forcibly installing a Smart Meter against a person’s wishes, something that the UK Government has repeatedly admitted cannot and will not happen.

As reflected in a statement by former Energy Minister Charles Hendry (Hansard, 29 November 2011), 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”.

Hendry was later quoted in The Register stating that:

“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.”

From the Video:

David Barr (@ 6:25s):  “Just take the [existing non-smart] meter and everything out – I don’t want a Smart Meter…”

Power NI Engineer (@ 6:36s):  “I have to fit a Smart Meter”

Power NI Engineer (@7:15s):  “You can get a normal meter put back in if the bill’s cleared — there’s no problem there.”

This interaction suggests that Power NI is using Smart Meters primarily as a billing enforcement tool, confirming that energy & utility firms are the true beneficiaries of the UK’s £11BN Smart Meter Scheme — leaving consumers like David Barr enfeebled and disempowered.

In an act of protest, David is now living without electricity, meaning he is using candlelight, has no hot water and no ability to cook his food.

David has not asked us for any help, but for us to simply bring this video to more people’s attention.  The first part of this video was posted by his friend on Facebook where it has received 6k+ views so far.  If you are in Belfast and would like to connect with him, please let us know.  We hope that a huge groundswell of support for David will build and that Power NI will return Mr Barr’s traditional meter immediately — as is his expressed wish and also his right.

  1. Horrific, clearly a civil matter, nothing to do with the police.
    I’d either jam the cell signal, or wallpaper the area with tin foil

  2. This is absolutely terrible and brings me back to when i was operating my child care business from home and had gotten bullied a number of times from my electrical company in front of the children. I refuse to have a smart meter for the safety of my family and children in care. SO FAR I DO NOT HAVE A SMART METER. However i may never move from my location as any home i would wish to move into has a smart meter. This is so wrong what they are doing to people and now using police and brute force!!

  3. Bloody bastards!

  4. the meters in Northern Ireland dont actually work the same as the rest of the UK being semi smart.The man in the video was making incorrect procedure and annoying everyone over a stamp and a signature.He would have been better off quoting the official line on smarts being non obligatory. The meter they were installing was nt in fact a full smart and did nt emit any radio waves. The meter would have been re exchanged with no fuss if he had just exercised his right to a standard credit meter.Also by the sound of it the man had NOT been paying his bills and the company must reserve the right to disconnect.The meter s in N.Ireland can be remotely disconnected

    • @ Stuart – re: “they did nt emit any radio waves”.

      That doesn’t appear to be the case. We spoke to a rep from Secure Meters Ltd earlier who confirmed that their “1E” meter (which Mr Barr has) is a type of smart meter and has some similarities and differences between a regular smart meter. He said:

      – It can be read remotely via the on-board GSM receiver/transmitter.
      – It can be dialed into remotely via the on-board GSM receiver/transmitter.
      – It can be disconnected remotely via the GSM receiver.
      – It communicates via Zigbee (WiFi) with the in-home display unit.

      On the “1E”, the GSM traffic transmits only when challenged, e.g. when being remotely read/dialed into. But the Zigbee traffic could well be continuous.

      • You have no idea which meter was being forcibly fitted.Northern Ireland are different from the UK.They run a meter which is called a “smart ” meter but is in fact “semi smart ” having no connection to the server and is manually configured.This meter is a Liberty smart pad meter, very common in N.I..Its only “smart ” by its ability to top up automatically and has a key pad to enable this.The guy in the film making a stupid display of himself over a technical procedure he had invented could well have been arrested.Lets just say he was correct, it would only have delayed the inevitable by another week.He had not been paying for his electricity.The supplier had lost patience .At the last minute it sounds like he d backed down and made “some ” payment.

        • @ Stuart. Not so. Mr Barr contacted us with details of the meter that had been installed, we contacted the supplier (Secure Meters Ltd), spoke to one of their engineers, validated which meter it was, and have repeated the information that they gave us in the above reply to you. The manufacturer of the meter that Mr Barr has in his home stated that the meter — a prepay Secure Liberty meter — is a smart meter and comes with an in home display unit (which their website backs that up here: – Features+Benefits, bullet point 5), meaning that it operates using a wireless connection. The manufacturer also explained that it contained Zigbee (Wifi) and GSM transmitters/receivers, has the ability to be interrogated and read remotely, disconnected remotely, etc.

          It’s a smart meter. Not a “dumb” meter.

          If you look elsewhere – the Utilita website, for example, which focuses on pre-pay meters exclusively, and under their ‘Prepayment’ page have details of IDH and comparisons with mobile phones (see and explains pre-pay smart meters under their ‘Smart Meters’ banner and how they communicate (see here: Here’s an example from that page:

          “Having prepayment smart meters in your home allows our Customer Services Team to read your meters remotely, giving us accurate information, so we can quickly correct any difficulties you may have over the phone.”

          Your comments over Mr Barr’s situation and stance are irrelevant. If he had any electricity he would probably be here explaining his view points to you but as he can’t do that right now we’ll draw this to a close.

  5. As per usual..Magistrates ‘RUBBER STAMPING’ Entry Warrant Applications !

  6. This is absolutely Disgraceful I had this situation where they tried to fit one at my property after phone calls telling them I did not want one fitted they assured me that my property would not get one but they still sent the engineer round to fit it, I refused to let him gain entry to my property as I did not want a smart meter , he left very disgruntled not heard anything since, how dare these companys think they have the right to force things on us we do not want, what is it going to take to make a stand they are trespassing on our rights and property this needs to be stopped now.

  7. What’s next: compulsory solar roof-panels, biomass-fuel boilers, wind-farm energy powered cars — all to be closely monitored by a special police corps authorized to administer spot fines on defaulters?

  8. WTF? But of course, why would the police not assist a commercial enterprise to force people to accept smart meters, after all they have a warrant, so not very busy trying to prevent real crimes then? If he hasnt paid his bill, then they have better methods of managing this than forcing him to have a smart meter.

    • Yeah,a pre-pay meter would have served the same purpose….although as stated /indicated before magistrates very very seldom consider matters fully nor indeed necessarily in compliance with law…’let’s just stamp this application’, after all the applicant IS a large powerful trader or Local Authority so they must be right !

      MONKEY’S !

  9. So the energy company is clearly saying that ‘smart’ meters are a form of punishment?

    SWALES tried to give me a smert meter when the old one suddenly stopped working. I refused it in writing – they were fine about it, but that was 18 months ago.
    Having one forced upon you for not fully paying a bill is scary and shows how desperate they are to install these awful meters!!

  10. They have no right to do this, we can opt out and the documents were not legal.

    I have a couple of hundred leaflets about smart meters and I write other information about you – tube videos on the back of them and web sites, so I will put this one at the top.

    DID YOU KNOW – The National Grid have no licence obligation to provide smart meters.
    [I found this information interesting]

    If they force me to have smart meters, I will disconnect my power box and also drastically damage the smart meters because they still pulse even when no power is being used.

  11. Jane, its not clear in that video if they are not replacing the meter with Northern Irelands semi smart keypad PREPAYMENT meter which use a Liberty secure prepad meter which has no connection with the server,It needs to be manually read.Its not technically the same as the rest of the UKs smarts which are continually pulsing 24 hrs a day.This info is just for your future info as smart prepays will soon be implemented throughout the UK due to horrific levels of meter bypassing in certain areas.These semi smarts should really be encouraged as people are eithe killing themselves with electric shock, burning the house down or blowing it up in the case of gas meter. The guy in the video was getting short shrift by the cops/meter fitters because of unpaid bills, so he could well have had a traditional easy to fiddle prepay or credit meter

  12. This is disgusting!

    Clearly, laws mean nothing when the police themselves are breaking them. Despite what the government says about smart meters not being obligatory, the police are evidently being told to do what they have to force these meters on the public. I don’t believe these two police officers acted on their own initiative by refusing to heed this property owner’s request to leave his property.

    It is a BIG mistake for the government to involve the police in the smart meter issue. Police forces should stand together on this issue and say ‘no’, we’re not getting involved in invading people’s home and using brute force to make them accept what they don’t want to. They can’t sack the entire police force.

  13. Our home is the only place where we can be free of the interminable stresses and distresses of this world. To feel this man’s deep distress at having his home invaded by the police in the name of smart meters made me physically ill. Those police officers ought to be ashamed of themselves. Any police force that allows itself to be used by power companies to trespass into people’s home and bully them is a disgrace.

    We all need to start looking at alternative sources of energy. Finding ways to get off the grid grows more attractive by the day.