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I agree that smart meters are a BIG CON, the only ones who benefit are the energy companies, they dont have to employ people to read meters, they can get the meter readings and send the bill within hours of taking the reading remotely.
You dont have to accept a so called smart metre, YOU CAN REFUSE.
If the energy company insists that your meter is old or faulty, or as happened in many cases, the meter is a safety hazard and has to be changed, in that case they insist that the only alternative is a smart meter, you can ask that it is made DUMB, ie that it works just like the old meter, and has to be read and will not communicate with their system.
It has been reported that the rollout of smart meters will cost 11 billion, and the energy companies are financing this, however there is nothing to say the consumer will not pay in the long run, anyone believing other wise is in my opinion naïve, to say the least.
One little known fact is that in properties where the cut out is metal clad, (that is the unit on the end of the mains cable which comes into the property and which houses the fuse) the energy companies have decided that opening this metal cut out by their semiskilled meter fixers is too dangerous, and in these cases this cut out has to be replaced with a new plastic one.
Having been involved with these type of cutouts over many years, I have only found a few in domestic premises which have been in such a state as to make it difficult, or even impossible to remove the fuse, this being necessary to connect new tails to the new meter.
The other argument is that there is asbestos in the cut out, well this is a very small amount and it can be dealt with in domestic premises without any danger, by a suitably trained person, as were the old meter fixers.
Here is the problem to enable this cut out to be replaced the cable feeding the premises the premises has to be located underground, a hole has to be dug large enough for a man to access the cable and cut it, this is done by a skilled jointer, when the supply to the building has been isolated the cut out can then be replaced, once this is done the cable then has to be re jointed and the excavation filled in to a required standard, when this work is completed, a new smart meter can be fitted by the semiskilled meter fixer,
This work will be required on a large number of pre war houses, and possibly a number of post war ones too.
The jointing takes around half a day, it can take longer depending on all sorts of variables, some of which are not obvious till the hole is excavated.
I think the 11 billion may be a little small and the time table for completing all the works much too short.
Some energy company smart meters are incompatible with the competition, and in these cases when a consumer switches supplies the meters go dumb and readings have to be taken in just the same way as the old meters.
Problems with high bills have been reported after fitting of smart meters, and any one experiencing this should contact their suppliers and have it checked, also check the tariff they are on with the new meter.
Where solar panels have been fitted to premise there have been a lot of problems with billing, also some companies wont fit smart meters where a property has Solare panels.
The panels are of the type which feed surplus energy back into the National Grid thus reducing bills.