It is often when governments think of a scheme that will save money, it turns out to be either the opposite and costing more or it is useless. That is the case with the government flagship called ‘Smart Meters’. I have to confess I allowed in the end to have a smart meter installed. It didn’t take long, just under an hour and both gas and electric are now linked to my wfi or mobile signal. Great so far because I will not have to read the meters anymore. But the advertising campaign kept on telling me and everybody else, 'you will save money'. The first question is, how? It turns out that those with smart meters are supposed to keep watching the monitor that is supplied when they switch you over and start worrying when they see the tally going up and up. This then is followed up by you switching off everything that produces heat or light. Oh yes, clever advertising meaning absolutely zilch! The savings are only made by the companies supplying electricity or gas or both by not having to employ meter readers. Secondly, it is reported that if you switch supplier the meter stops working. Yes, this is computer savvy Britain! The usual conundrum, someone in government due to pressures by the power companies has cooked up this advert campaign which is a total guess and possibly the biggest lie made in the last years or so. A fast turnout meaning error ridden software and sub-standard equipment. In my case looking at the whole effort they just bolted on new meters on old pipework and cabling. No check if it was actually working. I checked myself and it was but will it when I move to another company with another deal?
So, the point of all this is making things more automatic and less cost to the power companies. You, me as the customers have NO benefit and NO say! You will note that in all cases we are fed half-truths, the discerning person will have taken note it is the old, old story, we the great unwashed are just the ones to pay and keep the cakehole shut. In the meantime the power companies, oil, electricity and gas are just coining it in. There might be a windfall tax but I am not holding my breath.
We need to look at advertising standards and most of all standards of reporting! I was reading the news this morning and noted the government is putting over £300 people in their bank accounts. That was the headline on the web from the Birmingham-Coventry live newsfeed. When you see this you will think Ruddy Great! But in fact it is nothing of the sort. Boris or the government is telling yet another hazy fact. Just read it and it hinges on the NI level at which you will pay the charge, meaning thousands will no longer pay NI. (NI=the National Insurance charge levied on wages and salaries). Boris said ‘It will be in peoples pay packets as of tomorrow.’ Sorry Boris but you forgot to say that allied to this will be increased tax levels and furthermore the increased level to 13.25% from 12% will mostly wipe out the saving. Yes, friends there are small adders hiding in the grass, so keep looking for them before they bite you! Let me know what you will be doing with your windfall!
Ed- It gets more and more complicated - a lot of government Bojo's are on the couches of the newsrooms 'explaining' all the money coming to the people. Well mostly to those who already are on some sort of benefit. The gobblydigook can only be understood by Eskimos. I am going to have a sharp look at the EXACT amounts and to whom and I will write another post.