Susan Dalgety: Dumb ‘smart meter’ made me put on jumper

Smart meters monitor how much energy you are using
Smart meters monitor how much energy you are using
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We will all be cranking up the heating this week. The Siberian weather that is set to engulf us threatens freezing temperatures and lots of snow.

I had toyed with the idea of getting a smart meter, one of those clever little gadgets that tells you minute by minute, pound by pound, how much power you are using.

The theory behind them is that if you know exactly how much electricity you are consuming in live time, you can take immediate steps to reduce your wattage, so saving money and the planet!

So far, so sensible. Except I have just spent a week with a smart meter. In my son’s house, while babysitting, and it nearly drove me to drink.

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It flashed at me constantly from its vantage point on the kitchen bunker. You have used just £1.65 it flashed at 6.30am. “How can I have done, I am only just up!” I shouted (yes, I talk to Alexa too).

Every time I boiled the kettle it used up another 50p, or so it seemed. And when I turned the heating up … well, I quickly turned it back down and put on another jumper.

By the end of the week, I knew exactly how much, to the last penny, I had added to my son’s power bill, and for that I apologise.

I may get a shock once a year when I finally get round to reading my meter, but for the other 364 days I live in blissful ignorance, and warmth.

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