Smart meters are designed so that homeowners no longer have to manually take a metre reading for their energy provider. It also tracks energy use so you can see where you can be saving money.
Smart meters may seem like a good idea, but there are disadvantages associated with installing one, including;
Could Make It Harder to Switch Energy Providers
In the early days of smart meters, some of the first people to get them installed got a nasty surprise when they tried to change energy providers. Some of the original smart meters that were fitted are not compatible with the new national communications network (how data is transmitted to the energy provider). This meant that the smart meter would stop working and customers would have to submit the readings manually again. The government say they are working on this problem, but some of the big energy companies say that they may have to be replaced completely.
They Don’t Bring an End to Billing Errors
The initial assumption of smart meters is that it would give homeowners more control over their bills, but many people have been left disappointed.
Errors and bugs in the system mean that some homeowners have been charged extra on their energy bills. Some people have even been charged as much as 210% more than why they first got their smart metre installed.
Won’t Work If Your Area Has Poor Signal
If you live in an area with poor phone signal it is more than likely that your smart meter won’t work. This has happened when many people’s smart meters have “turned dumb” and send out estimated readings instead of accurate ones. This is one of the ways that a smart meter could end up costing you more money.
Although it is expected that when the new national network rolls out that smart meters won’t be reliant on phone signal.
Display Units Can Be Crude and Difficult to Understand
Another issue that people have had when it comes to smart meters is that the display is not very user-friendly and can be difficult to understand.
Little Evidence to Show if They Really Save Energy, or Money
People such as Ed Miliband and the Tories have been singing the praises of smart meters for a long time, by saying they’re a good way to bring down Britain’s energy consumption. Although there is no actual evidence that suggests that this is the case. Energy saving LED light bulbs and dimmer switches can actually distort smart meter readings, resulting in some readings being 6 times higher than they should have been.
Smart Metres Pose Security Risks
Security experts have warned that smart meters can be infected with a virus and this can spread to other devices and cut off some individual energy supplies. Other experts have warned that they could also be hacked and used for terrorism. Intelligence service GCHQ intervened last year in order to try and protect the network from hackers, who they claim could gain access to a smart meter and start blowing things up.