Even energy boss admits smart meters aren’t that smart! EDF chief says £11bn plan to introduce them nationally will face ‘may challenges’

Even energy boss admits smart meters aren’t that smart! EDF chief says £11bn plan to introduce them nationally will face ‘may challenges’

  • Vincent de Rivaz has said that the £11billion scheme faces ‘many challenges’
  • The smart meters project  is expected to be rolled out to 26 million homes
  • But problems with the communication infrastructure mean modern models may not be isssued

The boss of one of Britain’s biggest electricity firms has questioned the ‘security and safety’ of the national £11billion roll-out of smart meters across the UK.

Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, said the programme faces ‘many challenges’ and was critical of the quality of the meters being offered to customers.

He added that the issues may pose a threat to ‘public confidence’ in the programme.

The smart meter project is intended to fit 26 million homes across the country with smart meters by 2020.

Problems with the communication infrastructure meant that many customers will not get the best ‘next generation’ meters (file image)

Problems with the communication infrastructure meant that many customers will not get the best ‘next generation’ meters (file image)

But problems with the communication infrastructure meant that many customers will not get the best ‘next generation’ meters.

Instead they will get inferior meters that cost more and make it harder to switch suppliers, the boss of EDF said.

Around 2million inferior ‘first generation’ smart meters – codenamed SMETS 1 – have already been installed.

Some users have complained that when they try to switch to different suppliers, the smart meters no longer work.

Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, said the programme faces ‘many challenges’

Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, said the programme faces ‘many challenges’

In effect, after switching supplier the meter reverts to being a conventional meter.

Eventually, improvements to the infrastructure for the project will allow more sophisticated ‘next generation’ meters, known as SMETS 2 to be used.

But as yet, the network, run by the Data Communications Company, a subsidiary of Capita, has not yet been upgraded.

GCHQ, the government’s codebreaking body, have been drafted in to improve security to the network, which it warned was vulnerable to being hacked.

The Royal Academy of Engineering warned in a report that ‘disruption on a massive scale is possible’ if hackers managed to switch off householders’ electricity remotely.

In a speech yesterday, Mr de Rivaz said: ‘Delays to the communications infrastructure – the DCC – now means millions more customers will get less digitally sophisticated meters than intended.

‘These meters make things more complex from the moment when a customer switches supplier – and they cost more than the next-generation meters.

‘It is our responsibility to maintain public confidence in the programme and keep costs under control.

‘That’s why I think now is time for all the parties – Government, suppliers, regulator, DCC, providers of technology – to sit together and take stock on where we are.

‘We need to be honest with ourselves on all the issues: security, safety, quality, costs and timeline.’

Mr de Rivaz said that the industry ‘has a shared responsibility in the success or the failure of this programme.’

He added: ‘We are all committed to make it a success because we understand the long term potential. But we are also aware of the many challenges faced.’

The cost of installing the smart meters is an average of £400 per property, which is added to energy bills over time.

GCHQ, the government’s codebreaking body, have been drafted in to improve security to the network, which it warned was vulnerable to being hacked

GCHQ, the government’s codebreaking body, have been drafted in to improve security to the network, which it warned was vulnerable to being hacked

The programme was first devised under the last Labour government but received support from the subsequent Tory and Lib Dem coalition.

Smart meters have been promoted on the basis they give real time information on how much energy is being used to the homeowner and their energy company – getting rid of estimated bills.

Radio antennae in the meters transmit the information to the energy companies.

It is hoped the meters will reduce energy use as customers will be able to see how much they energy they are using.

The benefit to electricity company is that they will no longer need to employ meter readers.

An EDF spokesman said that ‘taking stock’ of the programme did not mean pausing or scrapping the scheme.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4362574/EDF-boss-slams-11bn-plan-roll-smart-meters.html

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Smart Meters could be overbilling you by a whopping 582%

Smart Meters could be overbilling you by a whopping 582%

Image: Smart Meters could be overbilling you by a whopping 582%

Natural News) Most people understand that utility bills are a necessary evil if they want to live in the modern world – even if utility bills eat up a large portion of monthly income. That said, few are willing to pay more than they should be paying, and yet, according to a stunning new report, some people are paying more than they should. A lot more.

As reported by web site Boing Boing, a research team from the University of Twente in Enschende, Netherlands, and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences documented billing inaccuracies in a paper that reviewed the efficacy of so-called “smart” electric meters, ranging from -32 percent to +582 percent of the actual power consumed in a month’s period.

The paper also noted that, ironically, the overbilling is mostly due to older power-saving features because they introduce line noise that interferes with the wireless signal and thereby ‘confuses’ the meters. (RELATED: Read SILENT KILLER: Smart Meters Are Destroying Your Health.)

“Static, or electronic, energy meters are replacing the conventional electromechanical meters. Consumers are sometimes complaining about higher energy readings and billing after the change to a static meter, but there is not a clear common or root cause at present,” an abstract of the findings states. “Electromagnetic interference has been observed between active infeed converters as used in photo-voltaic systems and static meters. Reducing the interference levels eliminated inaccurate reading in static meters.”

In all, five of nine smart meters that were tested provided readings that were substantially greater than the real amount of energy utilized, while two actually gave readings lower than the amount of power consumed.

Researchers found the biggest discrepancies when they joined dimmer switches with LED and energy-saving light bulbs.

Upon finishing their experiments, researchers then took apart the tested smart meters to see if they could find out what was causing the massive deviations. In the process, the three-man team of researchers found that the meters which provided the dramatically higher usage rates used a Rogowski Coil in the construction, while meters that gave artificially lower readings employed Hall effect-based sensors. But both modes of construction inaccurately measured the actual amount used.

It wasn’t clear from the abstract whether the tested meters were actually in use, either in the Netherlands or elsewhere. If both of those types of meters are being used, then some are paying less for the electricity they use, while most are paying much, much more.

In addition to costing consumers far more money, some researchers contend that the meters themselves are also health hazards. And some lawmakers at the state level are taking action.

State Sen. Patrick Colbeck of Michigan testified before the state House Energy and Technology Committee in early March regarding a piece of legislation – HB 4220 – that would permit homeowners to opt out of getting smart meters installed on their dwellings without having to pay a fine. He has based his opposition to smart meters on research indicating that they can cause a wide array of health problems, in addition to a cyber security threat posed by their installation and use, since they are wireless and transmit data to the utility company. (RELATED: Smart meters use unsafe, cancer-causing technology.)

During his testimony, Colbeck said he thinks smart meters are “putting our homes, our nation and, frankly, some of the power suppliers at risk.”

Others have issues with the privacy aspect of smart meters. Electric use data hacked from a wireless smart meter can be used by clever criminals to determine when people are home and when they are gone – to work, in particular – which provides them a window to enter the home without expecting anyone to be there.

There are also physical dangers to smart meter use. As Natural News has reported, some smart meters that are mandated by government have spontaneously caught fire, putting residents at risk of loss of life and property. Learn more at SmartMeters.news.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-03-29-smart-meters-could-be-over-billing-you-by-a-whopping-582.html