Smart Meters, any use?

I was reading an article by Ed Milliband saying smart meters will give us a responsive more efficient electricity grid, enable billing without a meter reader and for consumers to be aware of what they using. All this at a cost of a few £bn.

Maybe we’re unusual but I can’t imagine any savings in our house. I know the hot water, freezer, electric cooker, tv, pc and lights use electricity.  We don’t leave switches or heat only the air. My own concern is that someone said that a person in Sweden saved 15% of their fuel, but that this was the only person and they left the fire on all day.

I just can’t see how reducing meter men and getting adjustable bills can be worth the cost.  The power companies are pretty good at regulating output and it’s a blunt instrument with whole power stations going on and off.   They did say that it would allow people to feed into the grid, although I would have thought that these exceptions would buy their own meter. If this is so good then presumably the power companies are funding it at no extra cost to anyone?

The other device I saw advertised was a voltage regulator that claims to reduce bills by reducing your voltage to 230Volts. It was aimed at businesses and domestic. In our house maybe our TV will work on 230V but our immersion heater will just give out less power and so be on longer. The freezer might work the same at 230V as it said motors show savings. At a cost of £300 to £400 installed that’s a years electricity for us and it would probably take over 10 years to pay back, if ever. Some hard facts about savings on different appliances would be useful.

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