Re: "not owned by the retailers"
I changed supplier shortly after smart meters were fitted at my property. I had to twist the arm of my old suppliers to get them to extract readings from the smart meters, and my new supplier has never read them (they use a different model of smart meters). It's a fantastic system - I still have to read my meters every month, but now it's slightly more difficult than it was previously!
Overwhelming consumer demand, my arse.