Concerns over cybersecurity are undermining the nationwide introduction of smart meters, with more than one in five people saying they do not want one. Almost six million homes would reject the devices despite government promises that they would cut energy bills, according to a survey of attitudes to Britain’s biggest infrastructure project in a generation. More than half of those who oppose smart meters said that their principal concern was data protection. The government has promised that every home in Britain would be offered a smart meter by 2020. The devices are connected to the internet and track energy usage in real time, allowing customers to better understand their consumption patterns. They would eventually cut the time it takes to switch supplier from six weeks to less than a day and eliminate estimated bills, which can result in overpayments. The stored data should allow suppliers and comparison websites instantly to find the cheapest tariff for each household, which is likely to result in a huge increase in switching and competition in the energy market. Installation costs, estimated at between £200 and £300 a household, will be incorporated into future bills. Concerns have been raised, however, over whether hackers would be able to access the devices. Last year it emerged that GCHQ had been drafted in to the design process amid concerns that loopholes in the encryption technology could leave the entire energy grid at the mercy of terrorists or foreign powers.
Times 26th June 2017 read more »