GB Smart Metering no longer financially viable

@nickhunn on GB’s Smart Metering project: “it is now clear that there is no economic case for continuing the current programme”

GB Smart Metering no longer financially viable

Last week the British Infrastructure Group (BIG), comprising 93 Members of Parliament and the House of Lords, delivered a devastating report on the British Smart Metering Project.

Titled “Not So Smart”, their headline assessment is that it is a “roll-out which is set to become yet another large scale public infrastructure project delivered well over budget which fails to deliver the expected benefits.”

The consequence is that it is now clear that there is no economic case for continuing the current programme.  All that is going to happen is that our energy bills will go up to pay for this fiasco.

If the costs rise to £20 billion and the meters only have a ten year life, that means everyone will see their energy bill go up by around £67 a year.  The Government plan has always been to pass these costs on to consumers, which is a cunning trick.

It means the costs don’t appear on the Treasury books.  If they did, the project would almost certainly have been cancelled by now.

Telling Lies about Smart Meters

Article by Nick Hunn:

Telling Lies about Smart Meters

“What do you do when your smart metering plan isn’t working?  Looking at the efforts of Smart Energy GB, who are tasked with persuading the nation to install 50 million smart meters which aren’t really fit for purpose you do two things:”

  • “You ask the Government to double your funding with an additional £95 million of public money. Then…
  • You spend it on inaccurate adverts.”

British Smart Meters cost £28 million EACH

“That’s right.  Britain’s smart meters are now officially the most expensive smart meters in the world.” Full article by Nick Hunn can be found here:

British Smart Meters cost £28 million EACH

For those of you who have not been following the story, let me provide a brief précis.  Back in 2010 the Government mandated that every home in Britain should have a smart gas and a smart electricity meter by 2020.   Instead of using off the shelf smart meters, they decided to design their own.  DECC worked with some vested industry interests to do a classic Government IT committee job, producing the most complex smart meter specification the world has seen.  That design was called SMETS1 – short for Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specification.  Not only was it the most expensive, but it was also insecure.  When GCHQ looked at it and considered the potential implications of connecting it to our national infrastructure they demanded a redesign, resulting in the SMETS2 specification.  SMETS1 meters look as if they won’t work with the SMETS2 software infrastructure, so any SMETS1 meters already installed will probably need to be replaced.  Throughout this fiasco, the Government has not relaxed its requirements for every home to have a smart meter fitted by 2020, which means fitting around 50 million new meters.

Which brings us to today.  The SMETS2 meters are enormously complex and are pushing the limits of the industry to design them.  With the 2020 deadline barely 30 months away you’d hope that the bulk of them would be fitted by now.  But I’ve just been talking to contacts in the industry who have told me that currently there are only around 80 SMETS2 meters fitted.  Do the sums based on what has been spent so far on the GB smart Metering programme and you’ll find that it equates to around £28 million for each of these meters.  It is an obscene example of a Government IT project going wrong.  But it gets worse.  Not only will the overall project cost consumers around £12 billion, it has the potential to destroy Britain’s leading position in the development of the Internet of Things.