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The Government had promised that every household would have a smart meter by 2019 in a £12 billion programme to stop gas and electricity bills being estimated.
Officials are devising plans to allow people to reject the smart meters, which communicate remotely from households to energy companies.
The move is a victory for campaign groups and backbench MPs, who raised concerns with ministers that the devices emit electromagnetic radiation 24 hours a day and cannot be turned off.
Privacy campaigners were worried that half-hourly data on energy usage collected by smart meters could give clues about people’s way of life, such as when someone is on holiday, at work or asleep. Sources in the Department for Energy and Climate Change said the proposal was shelved to avoid the programme getting “bogged down” in lengthy legal disputes.
There has been a public outcry recently about the potential health effects of smart meters in the US and Canada.
About 400,000 have been installed in British homes. Most of the devices emit similar radiation to mobile phones, microwaves and wireless internet.
Campaigners are worried about the build-up of such devices in the home.
Some people claim to be sensitive to electromagnetic fields, saying it gives them symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and headaches.
In America, utility companies have been hit with multi-million dollar class action lawsuits from people who have had the devices installed in their homes.
Regulators say smart meters are safe. But protesters point to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s opposition to the devices.
Bill Esterson, MP for Sefton Central, is now urging the Government to say whether smart meters will come with health warnings.
Charles Hendry, the energy minister, said: “We believe people will benefit from having smart meters. But we will not make them obligatory.”
Originally posted by Sachyriel
Honestly a meter reader sounds like a useless job anyways, like having a propeller spinner on an aircraft carrier that only uses jets. We can move forward into progress, some jobs will be gained and some lost, but technically, this is a small piece of the puzzle, these erm.... "Meter Men/Maids" will find other jobs, it's not like they're suddenly brain-dead people who only kow how to read electrical meters.
Originally posted by LightSpeedDriver
reply to post by Sachyriel
Really? And what do you expect the job requirements of being a meter person are? I would guess it is a fairly low pay, low entry type job that many older people (40 plus, difficult on a job market that wants young people prepared and able to work for peanuts
) actually might have needed. The cost is passed on to the customer in these meters, people are fired and profits go up. It wins for the power co. That much is obvious.
If you thinks it's that easy to get a job why is the unemployment at an all time high?