Re: Pull the plug then
The power companies are for this, because they can then force people to pay their bills immediately by cutting people off via software when they feel like it,
Not at all. If you were on pre-pay meter (smart or normal) it works in the same way. If you're on a credit meter we'd have to jump through the same regulatory hoops to disconnect a customer. There is a semi-valid argument that we can at the press of a button turn a smart meter into a smart pre-pay meter, and that's technically true. But if that becomes bigger numbers than the rate of installation of mandatory pre-payment dumb meters, the press will be on it, the regulatory will backtrack on that, and we'll be back to square one.
Please be assured, energy suppliers do see some small convenience in smart meters (principally far more accurate meter readings), but given a free hand we wouldn't be farting around with the whole misbegotten SMETS2 smart meter programme. The cost savings over manual meter readings are more than offset by the shorter meter asset life.. The whole thing has been yet another crap government plan.