As Npower cuts up to 4,500 jobs in an effort to become “more profitable”, attention needs to be drawn to the UK Government’s Smart Meter Roll Out.
Originally it was planned that in 2020, all households in the UK would have a smart meter fitted that was promised to save consumers £34 a year, but not until 2034.
However, the plan has changed.
The deadline has been extended to 2024 and it’s also become more expensive. Originally it was estimated to cost £11 billion but that number now sits at £13.5 billion.
Who’s paying for it?
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“It’s apparent that the cost of the rollout is escalating, and the public are picking up the tab through their energy bills.”
“People will still benefit in the long run, but today’s cost-benefit analysis shows focusing on speed hasn’t worked.”
I take issue with “people will still benefit in the long run”. My energy costs are increasing, I don’t have a smart meter yet, and 2034 is over a decade away. I’d much rather a more effective solution.
A standard 60w lightbulb that’s turned on for 5 hours a day at an average of 11p electricity charge per unit will cost £11.50 per year.
A good quality LED bulb running for the same length of time at the same charge rate, will cost £1.70 a year.
That’s a saving of £9.80 a year per bulb.
It’ll cost around £3 for a good quality LED bulb and on average a house has 10 bulbs so that’s £30 spend per household, but a possible saving of £98 per year.
Assuming 25 million households in the UK, the Government could fund LED for us all at a cost of £750 million with instant savings of £98.00 p.a. based on 5 hours usage per day.
Look at it this way:
More efficient bulbs will cause a dramatic decrease in energy demand, requiring less energy to be produced, thus less carbon.
Or look at it this way:
Rather than the Government spending £13.5 billion, spend £750 million providing LED lights to every household and have enough money left over to:
- Build 50 new hospital wings at £90 million each
- Build a hundred new schools at £45 million each
- Employ thousands of nurses, policemen and teachers and still have a billion in change left over.
The message is wrong
Systems of major energy suppliers are not designed to process a high frequency of customers joining and leaving. This high frequency results in a demand for more staff which diminishes margins and can result in poor customer service levels.
The affiliate energy market encourages users to change suppliers far more often than ever, thus having a harsh impact on wholesale energy buying and forecasting.
All of the above is paid for by increasing your energy unit cost.
So next time you’re encouraged to switch, consider reducing your energy usage and not changing supplier.
Do you have a smart meter?
If you have a smart meter, we’d love to hear your thoughts on it and whether or not you’d prefer to have LED bulbs instead. Leave a comment in the box below.