by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Not so long ago you had to – at least once a year – read your electricity and gas meter, or someone from the utility companies would come around to read the meters. Intelligent meters, so-called “smart” meters, no do that all by themselves and in many cases transmit the data to the companies direct. Tests have shown, however, that they often get their figures wrong, badly wrong even, and that to the disadvantage of the consumer. To prove that the meter reading is wrong, however, is for the consumer not an easy one.
While a small number of smart-meters metered an amount of up to 30% below actual use the great majority, apparently, metered up to six times the real usage. In other words, the majority of those will leave the consumer out of pocket, and that very much so.
According to the researchers the reason that the smart-meters measure so badly and often higher than actual use could be because they use electronics that cause interference to the mains circuitry. And all those meters, by the way, were EU approved ones.
Consumer protection organizations are ringing the alarm bells because in the next couple of years those smart-meters are supposed to become mandatory everywhere. Unless they can be guaranteed to work accurately which, at present, the apparently cannot and do not, then the consumer will not be the one benefiting at all but will be disadvantaged. But, hey, so what, its great technology and technology is the way forward.