I think it *will* be a ghastly mess
LCD type panel meters that read one's electricity use, have been around for a while....so, if one wanted to monitor one's energy use, making such a meter "smart" won't make more people change their energy habits.
Of course, linking a smart meter to your broadband and an app, could be useful....but you'll be able to do that with various other solutions, if you wanted to....and there's the rub.
Having this system "foisted" onto consumers (who will end up have to pay for it, in their bills) really doesn't make any sense to me, esp if every consumer is "forced" to have it installed and the device(s) then just sit there, consuming energy themselves (paid for by consumers) and people take no notice of them.
And supposing people don't have broadband - how will they work then? And for people who are "renters" (nor home owners) how will said metering link in to the irregular placement of one's broadband router - by wifi perhaps?
And how long before these individual "smart meter" devices are hacked by 3rd parties?
I can think of better, more sensible ways to spend £19bn....