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Smart Meters Delayed Even Further & Other Issues

These smart meter delays are getting ridiculous now. I remember in 2014 they came out with a plan that all businesses using maximum demand meters will be upgraded to half-hourly meters by April 2016. That was then pushed forward to April 2017 since none of the suppliers even attempted to meet that deadline. I do feel for all the customers stuck on Maximum demand meter contracts with small suppliers who don’t have the functionality to upgrade them. It’s unknown as to how the suppliers will shift them onto a new supplier.

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Is This The Right Time?

The government has chosen to mess with both the business sector and the domestic sector at the same time, which surely can’t be a smart move, especially now with all this Brexit nonsense. None the less, all energy suppliers have been told they must start installing smart meters now and have until 2020 to hit their target. It’s going to cost £10.6 billion to install 50 million smart meters. The funny thing is, it will only save the average household £26 a year.

With a target of 50 million smart meters, they began in 2011 and as of 2016 there had been 550,000 meters installed. Things were going slow.

Kind-of-Smart Meters

British Gas was a little silly in installing “kind of smart meters”, which were no-where-near what the Government had asked for. They now have the annoyingly silly task of replacing all those “smart” meters by 2020.

Privacy Issues

I’m not one to care too much about privacy. I don’t care who has my direct debit details, if money gets taken out I’ll just get it reversed. I don’t consider information like my families names or date of births as sensitive so I’m not one to buy into lots of these privacy concerns that others have. However with that said, there are some major issues with this mass smart meter rollout. When you look at the mess that has been created by it, the lack of enthusiasm by both energy companies and customers, it’s all been a bit sloppy.

The biggest issues are probably; your home energy network becomes connected to the internet, people with access to the network can see what times your usually at home if you’re at home now and what you use your energy on. Smart meters are even detailed enough to determine where in your house energy is being consumed, i.e. you’re in the shower for 45 minutes between 8pm and 8.45pm.

One of the intelligence agencies investigated the systems being installed and noticed a key flaw. Every smart meter being installed in a business and home has the same encryption key which is used to pull off all the information from the meter. This means, anyone with access to that key, or if the key was discovered by hackers, every smart meter information could be compromised.

Smart Meter Delays

Two of the big companies involved in this whole process (BEIS & DCC) claimed in July that they would have their systems up and running by September. It was originally supposed to be done by 17th August but that didn’t work. One of the spokespeople for the BEIS said;

“The new infrastructure is planned to go live at the end of September, it is currently being tested to deliver a long-lasting, world class system to bill payers.”

My Final Thoughts

I doubt the delays will affect things too much however I do believe this is a sign of things to come. E.ON got fined £7 million in November 2015 for not doing enough. With all these delays and security issues, I do believe we will see more problems with this whole transfer. Let’s hope things go well.

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