Sunday, March 29, 2015

“Smart” Meter Fiasco in the UK

Smart” Meter Fiasco in the UK

Information & Perspective by Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ March 29, 2015

           A premier United Kingdom business organization, the 34,500 members strong Institute of Directors (IoD), has just issued a press release announcing their 21 page report critical of the UK government's “smart” meter program. 

           The IoD echos points I have been making for years.

           From the IoD press release:

IoD calls for Smart Meters scheme to be ‘halted, altered or scrapped’ to avoid ‘unjustified, over-engineered and expensive mistake’” [bold in original]

Consumers do not want the meters, they have proved a costly mistake in countries where they have been rolled out, and the Government is withholding key details about their costs and benefits. This makes for a programme which is devoid of credibility, over-engineered and mind-blowingly expensive. Perhaps the only reason why the cost and ambition of this project has not become a national scandal already is because of a conspiracy of silence among politicians in thrall to big ideas and even bigger budgets.”

The professed aims of the Smart Meter programme are laudable, and we all recognise the benefits of reducing consumption and increasing energy awareness. But there is little credible evidence to suggest that a scheme of this size and complexity will achieve those goals.”

The IoD report highlights a number of key concerns:

    • Despite the EU Directive, 11 nations have ruled out electricity smart meters and only 5 are pushing ahead with the 2020 target for gas meters. In contrast, as is so often is the case, the UK has gold-plated the Directive. 
    • The government refuses to publish any of the reports on the programme by the Major Projects Authority. 
    • The cost-benefit analysis conducted by the Department for Energy and Climate Change is so heavily redacted as to be almost unreadable. 
    • The Smart Meter network would be vulnerable to cyber-attack and disruption. 
    • Introducing time-of-day pricing to shift consumer demand will only work with price increases that are not politically realistic. Retail consumers really can't change their energy consumption that much.” 

            The IoD is not alone in its criticism of the UK's "smart" meter program. Earlier this month a UK government committee, the Energy and Climate Change Committee, issued its unfavorable report. 

            Committee chairman, Tim Yeo, said, “Without a significant and immediate change to the government’s present approach, which aims to install smart meters in 100 per cent of UK homes and businesses, the programme runs the risk of falling far short of expectations. At worst, it could prove to be a costly failure.”

            The Iod press release, entitled Smart Meters: a government IT disaster waiting to happen,

           The full 21 page IoD report, Not too clever: will Smart Meters be the next Government IT disaster?, is linked in the press release.

            Learn more about the IoD here: .

No comments:

Post a Comment