My 50p in the meter
I've recently been hassled and there's no more accurate word for it by my energy company, who I used to work for coincidentally. Where the language they've used is that they 'have' to install the meter, which technically isn't a lie. The government want them to, they 'have' to, or will face fines.
Meter aren't compulsory, and they've been sent away and I'll be leaving them when this contract is up and telling them implicitly they've damaged their brand by doing so.
'Free' also being a load of BS, it's a subsidy applied to everyone's bills. I'll consider having one fitted when SMETS2 is more common, so I don't waste my money, but I'll not be forced into the wrong decision to meet their imaginary deadlines.
I'd argue against the point that the big companies want this set up of smart meters. They've tried to lobby and have some concessions here and there, but as I've just pointed out. They're scrambling arse over tit to throw these contraptions at customers to meet an arbitrary deadline to avoid fines.
Working there whilst earlier installs and trials were underway, they're no fans of the in home device, dreamed up prior to everyone having a smartphone (yes not everyone, but IHD could be optional instead of mandatory and offered to those without a smartphone)
I'd always wondered why the data wasn't sent over the power lines themselves, granted noise and as usual a cobbled together infrastructure would make it difficult and costly, but then so is trying to get a 2G signal from the location of some meters.
The only benefits I can see them offering is a small dip in usage when first installed for people who don't know or care about it. They'll go around turning things off for a while then get bored and go back to their usual habits.
Also, having to employ less meter readers, although by law they will still have to inspect the meters every two years anyway.
And, as some appear to be doing, making pre payment meters smarter so they don't have to pay a margin to payment networks at newsagents and can offer an app to take payments directly.
Whole thing is a bloody mess. But then it's a government run IT project in essence. So why wouldn't it be?