What is the issue with smart meters? More than half of all smart meters "become dumb" after switching- Half of the one million smart meter customers who move energy suppliers on a regular basis have seen their units lose smart features, such as displaying real-time data and automatically sending readings to suppliers. The others have had them removed by contractors hired by their old supplier to read and reset their devices.
The problem is that they use radio frequency (RF) to communicate with the main body of the meter. RF radiation is known to be harmful to human health. Studies have shown that it can cause cancer and other health problems. There is also evidence that it can be harmful to animals too. Scientists believe that the effects of RF radiation are similar to those of microwaves which are already known to be harmful to humans and animals through television and other wireless devices.
In addition, some people are also concerned about privacy issues related to smart meters.
When you switched energy suppliers, the first generation of smart meters turned stupid. A more concerning disadvantage of smart meters is that they do not always function properly. There are several horror tales on social media from clients who received wrong bills because their meters recorded incorrect gas and electric readings. Some customers have lost power when the meter failed to register this change in usage so the device was not switched off.
In addition, some older style meters can emit radio frequency waves which may cause health problems such as headaches, insomnia, and nausea. More serious issues include cancer and heart disease. Some studies have shown a correlation between living near one of these meters and cardiac arrest, particularly for people with existing medical conditions.
The main advantage of smart meters is that they can report back information about your energy use to your supplier. This allows them to target specific products or promotions at consumers. It also helps them fix any faults quickly. However, some manufacturers are moving away from smart meters to instead use internet-connected technology which has not been widely adopted yet. This means that there will be more manual reading of meters in the future.
Internet-connected devices are not as efficient as smart meters because they must be on all the time to send data, whereas smart meters can only measure your energy consumption when you open the box.
Smart meters presently report your consumption via mobile networks, which might be unreliable in some places, especially if you live in the country. This might result in readings not being transmitted, which can lead to billing problems for both you and your energy supplier.
They also have a data storage capability, which means that your energy use at any given time will be recorded by your provider as well as your previous records. This allows them to charge you more or less accurately depending on how often you use electricity and what time of year it is. However, some people worry that this technology has not been fully tested yet, so there could be other issues with it. For example, there are concerns that hackers may be able to access your data.
There are also privacy issues related to smart meters. Your energy provider will know exactly when you switch on your heating and air conditioning systems, and when you go onto holiday campsites or low-energy appliances such as standby power supplies. They will also know if you open a garage door or not, if you use a washing machine or not, and many other things. There are also fears that children's information might be accessed by others when their parents use remote controls. Some countries have laws in place to protect consumer data, but not all companies follow these rules.