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British Smart Meters cost £28 million EACH

Amber Rudd is the latest victim of the curse of the Smart Meter…

That’s right.  Britain’s smart meters are now officially the most expensive smart meters in the world.  For those of you who have not been following the story, let me provide a brief précis.  Back in 2010 the Government mandated that every home in Britain should have a smart gas and a smart electricity meter by 2020.   Instead of using off the shelf smart meters, they decided to design their own.  DECC worked with some vested industry interests to do a classic Government IT committee job, producing the most complex smart meter specification the world has seen.  That design was called SMETS1 – short for Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specification.  Not only was it the most expensive, but it was also insecure.  When GCHQ looked at it and considered the potential implications of connecting it to our national infrastructure they demanded a redesign, resulting in the SMETS2 specification.  SMETS1 meters look as if they won’t work with the SMETS2 software infrastructure, so any SMETS1 meters already installed will probably need to be replaced.  Throughout this fiasco, the Government has not relaxed its requirements for every home to have a smart meter fitted by 2020, which means fitting around 50 million new meters.

Which brings us to today.  The SMETS2 meters are enormously complex and are pushing the limits of the industry to design them.  With the 2020 deadline barely 30 months away you’d hope that the bulk of them would be fitted by now.  But I’ve just been talking to contacts in the industry who have told me that currently there are only around 80 SMETS2 meters fitted.  Do the sums based on what has been spent so far on the GB smart Metering programme and you’ll find that it equates to around £28 million for each of these meters.  It is an obscene example of a Government IT project going wrong.  But it gets worse.  Not only will the overall project cost consumers around £12 billion, it has the potential to destroy Britain’s leading position in the development of the Internet of Things.  It also seems to be exerting a curse on any Government minister involved in the project, with Amber Rudd, our former Minister for Technical Illiteracy the latest to feel its effect. Continue →

May 1st, 2018 | Published in Smart Energy  |  2 Comments

Previously



Hearables. A Lust for Translation

If the battery dies, just speak slowly and loudly…


Is Sigfox the Uber of the IoT?

All for one and one for all.


It’s been a bad day for Smart Meters in Britain

Smart meters have just become a burning issue.


The UK may need to replace 20 million smart meters

Got a smart meter? You’ll soon need another.


About Creative Connectivity

Creative Connectivity is Nick Hunn's blog on aspects and applications of wireless connectivity. Having worked with wireless for over twenty years I've seen the best and worst of it and despair at how little of its potential is exploited.

I hope that's about to change, as the demands of healthcare, energy and transport apply pressure to use wireless more intelligently for consumer health devices, smart metering and telematics. These are my views on the subject - please let me know yours.

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British Smart Meters cost £28 million EACH

Amber Rudd is the latest victim of the curse of the Smart Meter…