From the BBC
"Despite consumers footing the bill, they can on average make a saving of only 2% on the average annual bill of £1,328 by the time the roll out is complete," said Margaret Hodge, the chair of the PAC.
"Even this is conditional on consumers changing their behaviour and cutting their energy use," she added.
And that's a bit of a problem with smart meters: what behaviour can you actually change?
There's a load of electrical devices in the home, but the biggest ones are the non-optional ones. The cooker, fridge, washing machine and dishwasher. If you choose not to use the dishwasher to save energy, you might as well have not bought a dishwasher.
You can say that a tumble dryer is optional, but people know that they use a lot of power and hang their laundry outside on a nice day. And this already has the incentive of producing laundry that's easier to iron.
The optional ones don't actually use that much power any longer. An LED lightbulb is 10W, LED TVs are now about 50W. Laptops around 20-50W (and those generally have power saving technology anyway). Even on the old incandescent bulbs, leaving one on for an hour was only costing a few pennies. With LEDs, it's almost irrelevant.
And yes, you could save money buying a more modern, more efficient fridge, but you've got a capital outlay to consider. A website I visited reckoned I'd save £19.73/year compared to a modern fridge freezer, but a modern fridge freezer will cost me £500. It's going to take decades to pay back.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
From the BBC