Smart meters could be over charging you by thousands.
Smart meters are just another part of our highly computerized society, but how much faith should we really have in these gadgets that control our homes?
Energy bills are one of the most sensitive areas of a household, and they are felt all too well when the prices go up.
Many people have installed smart meters in their homes over the last few years, believing them to be an excellent way of tracking how much electricity a home uses, but studies have shown that in some cases they are WAY over-billing households for using more electricity than they had in reality.
Dutch researchers at the University of Twente in Enschende, Netherlands, and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences conducted studies into smart meters, and how accurate they really are.
They found discrepancies in nearly all of the smart meters they tested, ranging from -32 percent to a whopping +582 percent.
Five out of the nine meters that were tested showed readings above what the actual amount was, while two actually showed lower amounts.
The study noted:
“Static, or electronic, energy meters are replacing the conventional electromechanical meters. Consumers are sometimes complaining about higher energy readings and billing after the change to a static meter, but there is not a clear common or root cause at present,”
“Electromagnetic interference has been observed between active infeed converters as used in photo-voltaic systems and static meters. Reducing the interference levels eliminated inaccurate reading in static meters.”
The researchers found that in houses with older electricity set-ups, the meter reading were more inaccurate, due to older features emitting ‘line noise’ which interfere with the smart meter, making it unable to give an accurate reading.
Upon dissecting the smart meters, the researchers found that the meters which overestimated the electricity readings all had one thing in common – they were fitted with a part known as a Rogowski Coil, and the meters that underestimated worked using Hall effect-based sensors.
Of course, there is no way of knowing what kind of technology your smart meter uses without opening it up yourself, and having knowledge of the working parts – the only option is to implicitly trust the information.
Not only has this study highlighted how potentially unreliable smart meters can be, they have also been accused of causing health problems in certain individuals such as sleep loss, irritability, headaches and even seizures, thought to stem from the level of radiation emitted from the devices.
H/T Science Daily