Friday, 17 November 2017 10:36

1 in 3 people cannot have smart meters installed

Smart meters are the new big thing that everyone wants to push onto you. You can’t go ten minutes without seeing an advert on the TV telling you how it will save you a bundle of money and the government have made it clear that they want everyone to have one by 2020. And I don’t think you could be blamed for buying into the idea that this is a good thing to have. After all, saving £100s on your energy bill over a year? Sign me up now!

But it seems like every week we get another bad news story which tells us we should hold off on installing them just yet. There’s doubts that they save you as much money as many of the energy companies claim while earlier this week their accuracy came into doubt after some in Batley decided to charge some customers £33,000 for a day’s worth of electricity and gas. This suggested that many of the smart meters out in home could be inaccurate, even if it just a little bit. But don’t worry; this probably won’t happen to you. You probably won’t even be able to get one installed even if you wanted to.

It has been revealed by a recent report that a stagger 1 in 3 people are unable to get a smart meter installed in their home. Why is that? Well quite simply, the meter cannot get the signal needed to pass on the information back to whichever energy company you are with. This might be because you live in a block of flats, have thick walls or are in an area which has a poor mobile signal. If you have any of these issues, or maybe all of them at once, there’s a good chance you will not be able to have a smart meter.

Now you may think that’s ok. You think you will be able to call up your energy provider, ask you want a smart meter and that the nice chap on the other end of the phone will type your address into the computer and simply tell you it’s unfortunately not available in your area yet. After all, this is what happens if you call up your internet provider and wonder if you can get fibre optic, why not for smart meters? But no, that isn’t what happens.

Instead, you get the usual installation appointment with one of the most vague times you can be given. So cancel your day off work and either lose the day’s pay or have one of your holiday days go down the pan, you are going to get quite accustomed to daytime TV for a while. Eventually after you are sick to the back teeth of Jeremy Kyle, the engineer will show up, tinker around for five minutes and then tell you that you can’t get a smart meter.

That is what happened to Katherine Harris, who reached out to us. She told us: “I waited all day to have a smart meter put in, but then got told it couldn’t be done because of my walls! It was an absolute disgrace!”

Engineers will tell those affected that they are working on new smart meters that will get over these problems, but people will be once bitten and twice shy.  But that just gives us more reason to wait it out with this new technology before getting it installed in our homes. If there are new smart meters set to get released in the next year or two that will be able to work even if you have thick walls and that will not have the bugs the current ones have, why get one installed now? You are just asking to lose money and have your time wasted.

Just be patient, and wait until smart meters that work get released.

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