Energy and Climate Change CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by Mast Sanity (SMR41)

Are the Government’s cost and timescale predictions for roll-out realistic and will it deliver value for money?

The total cost will be much higher than that estimated.

What are the potential benefits of smart meters for consumers, and what barriers need to be overcome in order for consumers to realise them?

There are no benefits to consumers. The meters will not help consumers use less power. They are already saving as much as they can with price rises. Where meters have been installed energy bills have doubled.

Is there a possibility that suppliers will gain considerably more than consumers from smart meters? Is enough being done to ensure that any financial benefits accruing to suppliers will be passed on to consumers?

Suppliers will gain more from savings from sacking the meter readers. However, the public purse will pick up the unemployment bill. NO effort will be made to cut costs to consumers. Their bills will double.

What lessons can be learned from successful smart meter implementation and usage elsewhere in the world?

I have not heard of successful implementation anywhere. This is wishful thinking. There are endless complaints of adverse health effects as the meters emit microwave radiation 24/7 and people in other countries have had to abandon their homes to escape the signals. This fact alone should serve as a break to the roll out. Then there are the fire hazards as several have caught fire in Australia, the privacy issues and the doubling of bills and bankrupting of small businesses. Just who benefits from all this?? Ah let me see, the energy companies!

Will smart meters empower customers to take greater control of their energy consumption?

This is a myth. It has been shown to be not the case.

Will consumers on pre-pay meters obtain the same benefits from smart meters as other consumers?

People on pre pay meters are poor by definition. This group are the last ones who will be able to afford a doubling of their bills. It will drive many into fuel poverty.

Should vulnerable customers and the fuel-poor be first in line for smart meters so they can get the benefits sooner?

There are no benefits to the consumer. As mentioned above he poor are the last ones to afford a hike in energy costs. They may be mal nourished and so more likely to suffer adverse health effects from the RF radiation that the meters constantly emit.

What is the best way of involving third-party trusted messengers, such as charities, consumer groups, community organisations, local authorities and housing associations in roll-out?

The best way is to involve them in real consultations not ignore them and exclude them!!

What are the potential obstacles to rolling out smart meters in the UK and how should these be addressed? What pitfalls have hindered roll-out programmes elsewhere and are we doing all we can to avoid them?

Perhaps you need to reconsider the roll out rather than force it down people’s throats.

Are levels of public awareness of and support for smart meter roll-out increasing?


Is enough being done to increase consumer awareness about smart meters? Could DECC’s consumer engagement strategy be improved?

No. Strategy can only be improved if DECC takes note and acts on consumer concerns.

Are consumers’ concerns about privacy and health being addressed adequately

NO!! Privacy is a huge issue and our rights to privacy are being ignored. There are 1000’s of scientific published studies showing adverse health effects from exposure to similar levels of microwave radiation as emitted by the smart meters. In May 2011 the IARC/WHO classified the radiation at these levels as a class 2B carcinogen in the same category as lead and DDT. Most of this evidence was based on the industry’s own studies whereas independent studies showed far higher risks that would have warranted a full classification.

The standards of which our government subscribe are to be set by ICNIRP in 1998. They have been declared obsolete by many scientific bodies including that of the ex Chairman of the HPA, Sir William Stewart in 2007. The guidelines set by ICNIRP only prevent heating over a 6 minute period. They state they do not protect against any other effects such as cancer. “….. these guidelines are based on short-term, immediate health effects…”

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has called for the ICNIRP guidelines to be reviewed as they are obsolete (too high). They call for a raft of measures to reduce exposures particularly to children. Resolution 1815 (2011)1.

The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment:

8.1.1take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields;

8.1.2reconsider the scientific basis for the present standards on exposure to electromagnetic fields set by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, which have serious limitations;

8.1.5in order to reduce costs, save energy, and protect the environment and human health, step up research on new types of antenna, mobile phone and DECT-type device, and encourage research to develop telecommunication based on other technologies which are just as efficient but whose effects are less negative on the environment and health; and

8.2.1set preventive thresholds for levels of long-term exposure to microwaves in all indoor areas, in accordance with the precautionary principle, not exceeding 0.6 volts per metre, and in the medium term to reduce it to 0.2 volts per metre; (Current ICNIRP levels allow 61 v/m).

Is there any evidence that consumers’ concerns about smart meters are declining or growing?

Not much.

Will the commercial benefits of smart meter roll-out be captured within the UK?

That’s for the service providers to work out! Presumably it will (with government subsidies? Other wise they would not agree to do it!)

Will DECC’s current approach to roll-out, including on procurement and establishment of the central Data and Communications Company, deliver an optimal data and communications strategy?

No. Not one that the people want, only that the industry want.

What criteria should DECC use to measure the ongoing success of roll-out?

Roll out will not be a success.

February 2013

Prepared 26th July 2013