Apparently, smart meters are now the answer to climate change. At least, that’s what the latest TV campaign tells us. So, in response to a few years of negative media about smart meters going ‘dumb’ when switching suppliers or how they’re tools of surveillance and a nanny state, the same state is trying to use guilt – and cashing in on the recent Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg news – to push more consumers over the line.
Of course, the original driver was really the panic caused by doubts over generation capacity. But we don’t talk about that. Given the lengthy delays in the SMETS2 roll-out, we might actually see a number of DNO GSP areas shrink through rising tides before SMETS2 can influence our carbon emissions.
It may very well be that SMETS2 is the correct answer. I’m just not sure it’s answering the right question. Measuring your consumption doesn’t necessarily reduce your consumption, after all. It may just depress you when you calculate all sorts of direct and indirect costs.
If the government were truly serious about reducing energy consumption and having an impact on carbon emissions, why not start by funding the insulation of the 20 million or so poorly insulated properties in our housing stock?
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