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Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make

A PROPOSED £9 billion network of “smart” electricity and gas meters will hand the government and power companies detailed information about people’s lifestyles, privacy campaigners are warning.
The systems are so sophisticated they will reveal when people are at home, what sort of appliances they are using and even indicate their diet.
Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, said: “You can tell when people come home, when they eat and whether they tend to cook microwave food or on the stove.”
A similar scheme in Holland was halted last year after a legal ruling that compulsory smart meters would breach privacy rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The British proposals involve installing the meters in every home by 2020. Such a grid could dramatically reduce energy consumption and David Cameron has described it as “the internet for electricity. . . that will deliver a genuinely low carbon world”.
The current preference is for meters to feed information about household energy consumption to a centralised database every 30 minutes. This would be managed by Ofgem, the energy regulator, and pass information on to power companies.

From behind The Sunday Times paywall - can't find a way to even link to it.

Comments

"Such a grid could dramatically reduce energy consumption"

Don't see how it can beyond rationing.

"Smart meters offer the potential to introduce smart grids, which interconnect machines rather than people, says England. For example, the smart meter could become the portal to other networked devices such as home surveillance equipment, refrigerators or air-conditioning units. This would allow electricity suppliers (or owners) to switch devices on and off remotely to minimise peak loads."

"Don't see how it can beyond rationing."

Well that is the exact idea, don't you see? When the windmills stop turning*, due to either very high wind or no wind at all, the smart-meters will let them "load-shed", ie turn off your stuff whether you want it turned off or not. Mind you don't buy one of those clock-radios that loses all its settings when the power goes off...

I wonder how it will work out when we're cooking on the (oil-fired) Aga? Or the bottled-gas gas cooker? Or whether we're over using the paraffin-powered Tilley lamp which (horrors) also gives off heat?

No doubt they have thought of all these things.

* Or, of course, when the needs of important people (such as MP's) get prioritised above yours.

Time to invest in a gen set or a half-ton bank of marine batteries.

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