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£11 bn Smart Meter rollout delayed again.

November 4, 2016

By Paul Homewood  


h/t Dave Ward 




Report from the Register:


The IT system that was to underpin Blighty’s smart meter rollout remains unfinished as another yet another deadline whooshes by.

The last time it missed a smart meter deadline, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) promised that “the new infrastructure is planned to go live at the end of September”. That did not happen.

The IT system was initially planned to be up and running in April 2015, but was subsequently delayed until December 2015, then April 2016, then August 2016, and has now missed its September 2016 deadline.

A subsidiary company of Crapita (often comically referred to as "Capita" by Private Eye) is behind this. The Data and Communications Company (DCC) is responsible for providing the communications infrastructure for smart meter readings.

As of today, the “timely rollout” of the smart meter system promised by the government has remained anything but, and the requirement to see domestic suppliers using the DCC by 1 August of next year seems as if it may not be met.

Responding to The Register regarding the delay, Claire Maugham, Director of Policy and Communications at Smart Energy GB, the national campaign for the smart meter rollout, failed to mention it at all, noting only that “the DCC is a secure, national network for smart meters which is currently being built.”

The DCC will enable, in future, smart meters to communicate with any energy supplier, making it much quicker and easier to shop around for the best energy deals.

But even before this happens, people with smart meters are seeing the benefits of more accurate bills and better control of their gas and electricity use.

More than four million smart meters have already been installed around Britain, and our latest research shows that eight in ten people with a smart meter would recommend one.

Despite these encouraging words, the project, which according to a 2014 Impact Assessment will arrive with a £11bn bill for consumers, was previously described as in danger of becoming a "costly failure" by a government report after a farcical number of delays and internal government warnings that it would most likely not be completed for another 50 years.

Last year, the Institute of Directors warned that the smart meter project would add billions to consumers’ bills and that the rollout "should be ‘halted, altered or scrapped’ to avoid a potentially catastrophic government IT disaster".

Responding to The Register, a DCC spokesperson said the company was “undertaking its final preparations for live services” and did not suggest when those live services would finally be available.


Can £11 billion have ever been so utterly wasted and for so little benefit?

It works out at £400 per household. And what do you get?

Well, the blurb says more accurate bills and no estimated readings. But we now have something called the internet, which allows us to input our own meter readings, check usage and shop around.

Smart Energy GB would like to fool us into believing most people would love one. But there is a very simple test – let people buy their own.

We will soon see how many are prepared to pay £400, just to find out that it actually costs money to put the fire on!






It will come as little surprise to learn that there is an underlying agenda to all of this.

This is what Smart Energy GB say on their website:




Now how did I know the EU would be behind this?

  1. AlecM permalink
    November 4, 2016 5:48 pm

    Smart meters are aimed at peak pricing; restricting electricity supply to the rich. When the weekday peak period is 24 hours long, the poor will suffer.

    How many people will be able to use solar cookers in the UK in winter? We’ll return to the pre-19th Century tactic of having communal brick ovens (had one once), heated by burning faggots. Hold on though: burning wood will be verboten too.

    Hanging is too good for the idiotic killers who thought this up. Wot a victory for the Chinese who, so it seem, paid for Hansen’s climate fraud………..

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      November 4, 2016 10:45 pm

      I don’t think ‘burning faggots’ is PC any more, they are now rightly accepted as valuable members of society.

      You are right… burning wood will be verboten as it has a huge carbon footprint, BUT if you put it though a big diesel powered shredder it magically turns into biomass (which is green & clean & pure & lovely ) & has no carbon footprint; see, we can save the planet for the next generation to plunder.

      Just remembered, I must stop thinking of the children & cuddly lambs….that’s not PC either !!

      • AlecM permalink
        November 5, 2016 10:18 am

        I concur: we must all wear sackcloth and ashes, and live in caves.

        One problem though: where do we get the ashes?

  2. Dave Ward permalink
    November 4, 2016 6:06 pm

    “We will soon see how many are prepared to pay £400”

    Going by the El Reg comments at the time I sent you the link, not many! Several of them, like me, have bought plug in monitors for £15 or so, and once you’ve established what various domestic appliances use, it’s easy to make changes if needed. They also worked out (like me!) that there is rarely an economic benefit in replacing an old appliance until it fails completely. The electricity savings just don’t cover the outlay, never mind the future replacement when the shiny new unit packs up in a fraction of the time the old one did!

    As for the fatuous claim “At no cost to you” – this cannot be avoided, and it simply becomes a hidden tax on ALL customers.

    Then there’s the “Remote Disconnect” capability built in as a requirement of the spec, and so on, and so on – none of which will be understood by the majority of s̶u̶c̶k̶e̶r̶s̶ customers…

  3. November 4, 2016 6:36 pm

    Don’t accept any smart meter that isn’t compatible with all the usual UK electricity providers [some early versions weren’t / aren’t].

  4. Gamecock permalink
    November 4, 2016 6:52 pm

    ‘Responding to The Register regarding the delay, Claire Maugham, Director of Policy and Communications at Smart Energy GB, the national campaign for the smart meter rollout’

    ‘The Data and Communications Company (DCC) is responsible for providing the communications infrastructure for smart meter readings.’

    Smart Energy GB is responsible. Contractors are responsible, not their subs. An old Indian mind trick to get you to misplace blame.

  5. November 4, 2016 7:09 pm

    ” … upgrade our energy supply and tackle climate change” is the giveaway.

    Nobody yet seems to have cottoned on to the idea that if you can control your appliances through your smart meter so can your supplier and if you are sending consumption data to your supplier he is in a perfect position to decide whether your level of consumption needs to be “regulated” in order to spread the load when the wind isn’t blowing.

    It will also be possible, or so I am informed, to vary the charge — by the minute if necessary — so that when Scottish Power are having to buy in that supercharged gold dust from Hinkley Point you will be charged accordingly. Regrettably (or perhaps not) I doubt I will be around when the Sunday Times’ intrepid reporting team discovers that the amount of gold-dust the suppliers have been charging for exceeds Hinkley Point’s rated capacity by a factor of two.

    You think that won’t happen? Dream on!

    • November 4, 2016 7:24 pm

      More likely they will offer a more favourable tariff to people who sign up to allow the elec. co. to ‘interfere’ with their supply for short periods at difficult peak times, e.g. by switching off their freezers for half an hour – or something similar.

      ‘Alternative’ smart meter tariffs are already operational in parts (at least) of California, perhaps some other places too.

      • November 4, 2016 9:25 pm

        Same difference.

        But it will all be done “in our own best interests” to “combat the threat of global cooling” (as it will become — have a look at Pierre Gosselin’s site; Germany’s October temperature anomaly was -0.6!) and the fact that we are paying more for less and our old people are dropping like flies …. well, not my problem, mate!

  6. Athelstan permalink
    November 4, 2016 7:45 pm

    I’ll install a smart meter, when chris ‘buffoon’ Huhne recants the green religion or, over his dead body.

  7. HotScot permalink
    November 4, 2016 7:46 pm

    Why in f***s name is the government paying for a service when gas and electricity were privatised donkey’s years ago?

    The whole point of privatisation was to introduce competition into the market and eliminate the burden of nationalisation from UK PLc’s balance sheet.

    Instead, we have seen collusion between these organisations ensuring prices remain artificially high, blatantly ripping off the public; falling gas and electricity prices not passed onto consumers and our government dancing to the EU tune, once again!

    Our railways are a joke, NHS staff are under mind boggling pressure because they are shoring up a service starved of money (with their personal, unrewarded efforts).

    The police are barely seen on the streets (a guy locked up for 10 years for murdering a mother and her children while he was checking his mobile phone whilst driving – but we all witness it every day!) crime rates have gone down – BECAUSE PEOPLE DON’T BOTHER REPORTING THEM, they know nothing will be done.

    We can’t even flush effing baby wipes down the bog because it costs the water companies money to unblock drains. 40 years ago you could flush the contents of your house down the drains and no one would utter a word.

    Eye-watering amounts of money are handed over to private businesses daily and it seems we are powerless to do anything about it. I paid a flat rate 30% income tax in the 70’s and everything was taken care of by central government. Now it seems with VAT and every other frigging tax, we are subjected to over 40% taxes, and the services we receive are shite!

    TBH, as much as I detest privatised industry, the 70’s was a time of good value for the working man. I didn’t like that I paid 30% over, but I now recognise the value that represented, and we were dragging British Steel the Post Office (BT) and British Leyland etc. behind us. We are doubtless about to pour cash down the gullets of TaTa steel and Nissan because Thatcher shot the fox when she turned everything over to the city of London. And to think I supported that!

    I am no socialist but if Corbyn can’t organise a political party, what chance has he of organising a country, in which case we are going to become the political toy of the EU and the USA as politics in this country is dangerously petrified.

    The Brexit campaign ground to a halt yesterday when some b**ch hedge fund manager with tons of city cash challenged the government, and won. Did she do the same for Scotland after it’s failed referendum? No. Which suggests either the Scottish referendum was properly, and legally organised and, as usual, incompetent Westminster officials ensured a national referendum was a political farce.

    I suspect Cameron resigned because he was in it, up to his elbows. He and BoJo conspired to run the most comedic political campaign ever devised, organised by the two most unpopular, incompetent politicians ever to grace our shores, BoJo and Gove. It couldn’t help but fail and the old school tie would prevail again. But it didn’t. What would the final count have been if a responsible politician been running the campaign, say David Davis for example? I suspect we would have had a 70/30 vote for Brexit but instead we are subject to the machinations of city money and emasculated politics.

    WTF needs TTIP, it’s here already!

    And the world is laughing at us, not just Europe.

    • HotScot permalink
      November 4, 2016 7:49 pm

      “TBH, as much as I detest privatised industry”

      Sorry – that should have been ‘nationalised’ not ‘privatised’

    • November 4, 2016 9:43 pm

      Ye feel a wee bittie better now, Scottie?

      I’m with you on most of that though quite a few of what you describe are “first world problems” that we have created faster than we have been able (or in some cases willing or even prepared) to find cures for.

      Perhaps if we poured just a dribble of what goes into climate research into finding a technology that makes the use of mobile phones impossible in moving vehicles or addressed the problem of shoving any old thing down the toilet either by being less addicted to things that we didn’t put down the toilet 50 years ago because they didn’t exist (!) or having just a little more co-operation between the makers of baby wipes and the makers of toilets and the ones whose job it is to make sure that what we flush actually can be reprocessed.

      On your other point forgive me for sitting on the fence. I still bear the scars from daring to express unpopular opinions on both referenda!

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      November 5, 2016 7:49 pm

      The NHS is awash with money.

  8. tom0mason permalink
    November 4, 2016 9:20 pm

    “A subsidiary company of Crapita (often comically referred to as “Capita” by Private Eye) is behind this.

    And Crapita is the same company that operates under the BBC’s copyrighted artwork*, and uses strong arm tactics to scare single mothers and pensioners with court action and jail. A truly nasty company of vipers.

    *For those not in the know TV LICENSING is a piece of artwork and not a company.
    There is not physical entity or company called ‘TV LICENSING’ or ‘TV LICENSING AUTHORITY’ it is nothing by a glorified logo.
    It is deliberately misspelled to get around the law, and as such it is legally only copyrighted artwork or a logo, owned by the BBC, and made available to their sub-contractors (Crapita) for use in giving an appearance of authority when extracting TV licence tax from all households in Britain. TV licence monies are deemed a tax by HM Government.

  9. Gerry, England permalink
    November 4, 2016 9:28 pm

    The so called ‘smart’ meters have the ability to turn your gas off as a tale posted in a paper attested to. The meter wasn’t all that smart as it didn’t work but because it didn’t work the poor b*gger who had it had no gas supply while struggling to get it sorted out. Of course it wasn’t easy to get it fixed so it was not just a few hours of no heat, no cooking but days.

    They are a product of a retarded energy policy that won’t be able to deliver the supply needed so tricks like charging you more when you find it convenient – and with appliances, safe – to use it.

    • Gamecock permalink
      November 5, 2016 11:57 am

      Turning off residential gas is seriously dangerous, as turning it back on can lead to fatal accidents.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 5, 2016 12:42 pm

        Correct. My gas main was replaced last month and they don’t turn it back on until you are there and they come to check. Same with water – not allowed to turn it back on to an empty property. Interesting that electricity is different. We can all think of examples of things that could be left ‘on’ during a power cut that will come back to life when it is restored.

  10. Ex-expat Colin permalink
    November 5, 2016 8:45 am


    “The Major Projects Authority has carried out three assessments into the smart meter programme; however, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has refused to publish them, citing commercial sensitivity”.

    Having spent some quite time as an ISA (safety & software) I’d expect the disaster to already exist. Not unlike most public facing ministry IT projects. Expect scrappage fairly soon.

  11. Gerry, England permalink
    November 5, 2016 12:43 pm

    Anyone think of an example of a government IT project that has been delivered on time, on budget, and in many cases delivered at all?

  12. Gerry, England permalink
    November 5, 2016 12:51 pm

    Just opened the Weekend supplement from the Daily Mail and there is a full page ad from Smart Energy GB. The outrageous lie ‘at no extra cost’ is printed there. I wonder what the advertising standards agency would make of that?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      November 5, 2016 1:03 pm

      Lo and behold this has already been referred to the ASA last year and they did not uphold the complaint. With a wonderful circular argument that says there is not individual cost for having a smart meter as it is paid for through bills. Which of course means that you will be paying for a smart meter even if you don’t have one as there won’t be tariffs for with or without a smart meter. The only variable will be the number of meters they have to install that will affect the overall cost per user.

      • 1saveenergy permalink
        November 5, 2016 11:32 pm

        So by that logic, we can all go to Tesco, walk out without paying for £100 worth of goods, but as Tesco will claim the money on insurance & the insurance co will put up the premiums & we all end up paying more for insurance, then there is no loss, therefore no crime.

        If you chose not to take £100 worth of goods then you would still pay the higher premiums, but with no benefit.…except to the insurance co.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 6, 2016 12:07 pm

        Interesting analogy there.

        So basically the only way to save money with a smart meter is for the majority not to have one and so reduce the £400 a time cost. Given how you can never trust government, I suspect their plan is to force them on us if they can get to a certain level of take up.

        The same ploy is at work with water meters. All new builds have to install one and if a house changes ownership then they come and fit one as well. I received notice that they intended to fit one on at the house I sold but it was being demolished anyway. My new house has one at it changed hands in 2007. My neighbours on each side don’t as they moved in 20 and 30 years ago. I admit it has saved me a lot as I use so little water they bill me every 6 months not monthly but it is to cover for the government blocking new water storage in the south east that the water companies wanted to build.

  13. Max Sawyer permalink
    November 6, 2016 11:58 am

    Is there no end to the costly nonsense, invariably funded by the taxpayer, for which “tackling climate change” is the excuse?

  14. manicbeancounter permalink
    November 6, 2016 4:59 pm

    The idea of smart meters installed in the EU being able to tackle climate change a flight of fantasy even if you have swallowed whole the of climate catastrophism. Global emissions are now over 50bn t/CO2e, and are rising at about 2% a year. In 2012 EU28 emissions were 4.24, down from 5.37 in 1990. (Emissions in the EU peaked in 1980)
    Domestic energy consumption (electricity, gas, heating oil) is a minority source of EU emissions. At most Smart Meters make a minor contributions to the source of up to 3% of global emissions. As people have pointed out, the marginal advantage of this £400 a head system over a £15 one is small. However, it may be quite crucial to households in a few years time. One we go all electric (gas will be phased out by 2050 to meet the 80% reduction target under the 2008 Climate Change Act) you will need to watch the smart meter by the hour. Cooking the Christmas Lunch may cost more the for electricity than the fanciest fare. More acceptable politically will be rationing when the wind does not blow, so it might be heating or being able to drive the all-electric car.
    EU emissions figures below for 1990 to 2012.

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      November 6, 2016 11:28 pm

      “gas will be phased out by 2050 to meet the 80% reduction target”

      I wont live to see that
      I think / hope there will be riots long before that… we need Milbands head on a stick

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