Re: Here's an idea. (Human power)
I would just like to point out a few home truths to Mr Paul and other haters, who probably hate 'greedy suppliers' in the same way that they are programmed to hate other large establishments that the Daily Mail tells them to hate.
And here are the facts....
1. The Suppliers operate to smaller profit margins than most other 'service providers' including your mobile phone network provider. It's around 4 or 5 per cent. Not a great deal really for the huge risks and responsibilities they face.
2. SMART metering is a government mandate, not some get-rich-scheme concocted by the suppliers.
3. Yes it does mean the end for traditional meter readers however the new meters are more sophisticated, and therefore they will break more frequently. Suppliers still have an obligation to visit and inspect on a regular basis so the workforce reduction will not be as great as you may think, and other costs (eg network, equipment, infrastructure) will actually be far higher.
I personally think that SMART meters are a bad idea as they only really deliver.....]
1. Real time information to tell you where your money is being burned (when you actually cannot do very much about a large proportion of that, unless you want to fit solar panels).
2. An end to estimated bills.
The former can be addressed with a much cheaper, simpler device which simply clamps around the main power cable going into the meter.
The latter is a total non-problem unless you are so lazy you can't be arsed to even provide a meter reading when you move house, in which case you get what you deserve. Most (not all, admittedly) people pay by monthly instalments which are worked out based on annual consumption, so who gives a monkey's about estimated bills anyway? Eveyone has the absolute right to alter their DD payments if they can provide evidence that they are not consuming as much energy as their Supplier thinks. Of course, if they are wrong they will have to face the consequences of that mistake - which may be a lump-sum payment demand if they switch supplier.
Other people on here like the idea of real-time supplier switching..... sure, great idea but it ruins the concept of payment by monthly DD. If you want that then you will also probably have to accept a future where all Suppliers run like mobile phone providers on a 'pay as you go' type arrangement... you know - pay first then get the energy to consume. As someone else already pointed out "be careful what you wish for".