The BBC reported this morning that “Installing smart meters in every house in the UK will save consumers “only 2%” on their annual bills, a committee of MPs has warned. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said that, on average, consumers will save just £26 a year.”
MCFly asked Manchester-based Carbon Coop for a response. Quick as you like –
The Public Accounts Committee are right to highlight the huge cost of smart meter installation and ask whether true benefits will be delivered to consumers.
As a concept, smart meters do have the potential to empower consumers, not just as individuals but as effective collaborators and co-operators. Delivered properly this approach opens the door to communities and local authorities owning and supplying electricity and enables us to envisage a way to undermine the power of the Big Six energy companies.
However, the problem with the government’s smart meter roll out is that the programme is entirely in the hands of the Big Six and that the technology chosen excludes the householder from the process. Smart meters are something that happen ‘to’ people rather than ‘for’ or ‘with’ them.
As we’ve highlighted on numerous occasions, the larges-cale roll out of smart meters needs to be facilitated by grassroots organisations and to use open, human-scale technology.
We’re collaborating with an open source project, OpenEnergyMonitors, to investigate the adaption of their equipment and to test it out as a tool for community owned aggregation of energy supply.