Plans to force households to have energy smart meters installed have been shelved over health and privacy fears.
Smart meters communicate remotely from households to energy companies Photo: REX
6:30AM GMT 01 Feb 2012
The Government had promised that every household would have a smart meter by 2019 in a £12 billion programme to stop gas and electricity bills being estimated.
Officials are devising plans to allow people to reject the smart meters, which communicate remotely from households to energy companies.
The move is a victory for campaign groups and backbench MPs, who raised concerns with ministers that the devices emit electromagnetic radiation 24 hours a day and cannot be turned off.
Privacy campaigners were worried that half-hourly data on energy usage collected by smart meters could give clues about people’s way of life, such as when someone is on holiday, at work or asleep. Sources in the Department for Energy and Climate Change said the proposal was shelved to avoid the programme getting “bogged down” in lengthy legal disputes.
There has been a public outcry recently about the potential health effects of smart meters in the US and Canada.
About 400,000 have been installed in British homes. Most of the devices emit similar radiation to mobile phones, microwaves and wireless internet.
Campaigners are worried about the build-up of such devices in the home.
Some people claim to be sensitive to electromagnetic fields, saying it gives them symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and headaches.
In America, utility companies have been hit with multi-million dollar class action lawsuits from people who have had the devices installed in their homes.
Regulators say smart meters are safe. But protesters point to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s opposition to the devices.
Bill Esterson, MP for Sefton Central, is now urging the Government to say whether smart meters will come with health warnings.
Charles Hendry, the energy minister, said: “We believe people will benefit from having smart meters. But we will not make them obligatory.”
By Laura Thompson
Last updated at 10:59 PM on 27th January 202
Millions of green energy meters may have to be replaced because the technology is not working properly.
Homes and businesses which have already installed the digital devices have had problems switching to cheap deals and are even being hit with extra fees.
Many meters could have to be stripped out altogether and reinstalled with a Government-approved model.
Going green: Ofgem has said the new meters may be ‘useless’
A Daily Mail investigation has revealed how some small businesses are being charged 20p a day simply to have a smart meter while many homeowners are being asked to give readings to energy firms because the technology is not transmitting their data properly.
The latest green energy fiasco is the result of suppliers pressing ahead with installing their own smart meters before the Government has decided on a standard model.
Every home and small business is due by 2019 to get a smart device, which is designed to show people how much energy they are using by the minute, so encouraging them to cut back to save money and energy.
However, even though installing the meters does not officially begin until 2014, many energy companies, including E.ON and Npower, are already doing so.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2092954/Costly-fiasco-smart-meters-dont-work-Millions-devices-replaced-warns-watchdog.html#ixzz1koeD0y00
National TV in the United Kingdom has been reporting the excessive profits that some electricity providers are making. And just to rub salt in customers’ wounds, some of those utilities are talking about further price increases of 10% this winter.
It’s a timely story. Many of us are starting to feel the winter chill and switching on the heating. So, what about smart metering? Will it help consumers, or is it really just a way that utilities can send out ever-increasing bills more efficiently?
The U.K. is forecast to have a large number of smart meters installed by 2016. Cellular solutions are key in the U.K. due to the general structure of the utilities and grid operators, and cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) devices are the most likely technology option. Read More