I have watched the painful rolling-out of smart meters with derision. It's an awful example of bad programme design: why would anyone want to entrust it to energy suppliers, rather than the network operators, which is infinitely more logical? Inane.
However, I've nothing against accurate readings (of anything, really); and the potential benefits are great. And I've nothing against the electricity company knowing in real-time what my consumption is: those who think it'll be used to coordinate burglaries on seemingly-unoccupied homes are forgetting that their bank / credit-card provider, and even more so their mobile phone network, generally know exactly where they are at all times, and a great deal about what they are actually doing (maybe, indeed, absolutely everything about what they are doing) - also in realtime. (If you are fool enough to entrust any of your data whatsoever to ScamEnergy, well, that's your business.)
I must admit I was surprised at the complete lack of outrage when it was revealed that some health authorities are using smartmeter data on a user-identified basis to diagnose early-stage dementia (which apparently they can, via abnormal & random energy-use patterns at all hours) - but there we go: it's always hard to know what's going to upset people and what isn't.
Anyway. Finally, a well-known energy supplier, obviously under the cosh from Ofgem for delinquency in meeting its smartmeter installation targets, offered us £50 to have a smartmeter: and we said Yes.
Well. What a damp squib. Installation was 100% trouble-free; and matey warned us the gas reading would only come through onto the neat little display after "a bit of a delay" - but it's just so insensitive, in all respects. The gas reading does indeed suffer a 5-10 minute delay before registering on the display, after either switching on an appliance or switching off (WTF is going on?), and even the electricity reading can lag by 30 seconds - though not always, mind.
And in terms of the actual, "quantified" readings given (analogue), it's literally a blunt instrument, and grossly so. My prior understanding was that a skilled smartmeter reader could learn to interpret the difference between the signature read-outs of (say) a kettle vs an electric iron. Well, maybe back at Big6Co HQ they've got some reading that's finely enough tuned for such differentiation, but our pathetic little SMETS-2 certainly doesn't offer any such refinement. (BTW, gazing at a modern water meter is infinitely more rewarding in terms of sensitivity to what you're using - you can literally detect a dripping tap.)
This is pretty reprehensible and I want my money back! Oh yes, I forgot ... they're paying me ...