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Are smart meters safe?

(29 Posts)
fluttERBY123 Mon 31-Aug-15 10:33:48

Hub had a cold call from our energy supplier and on the spot said, yes they could come in and install a smart meter. On the day I was out and chap came. In the middle of it our son arrived and had a fit as he said they were a health hazard ( google smart meters/health). We were likely to get headaches etc.

Anyway, forgot about it for a few days and then yesterday realised I did have faint permanent headache - so googled and a lot of stuff there. We would never have had it installed if we had seen all that before.

Commiserations etc welcome. Thinking of asking them to take it out or on Which it says you can convert it to a dumb meter- might be the way to go.
Does anyone else have one?

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 31-Aug-15 11:13:36

I can't see any way they could affect your health. No different to communicating on a computer - which we do plenty of!

I would like one. No more muddy footprints from meter readers traipsing in, or having to read the numbers myself to send to supplier. BUT I can imagine DH would be forever on his knees in front of it to see just how much leccie I am using to boil my egg, or do the washing. hmm

Do not believe silly scare stories on the I-net. smile

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 31-Aug-15 11:21:49

Huffington Post agrees with me

Charleygirl Mon 31-Aug-15 11:34:32

I would love to have one for the same reason that jingls husband may use it! Something in this house is eating up electricity- I am not certain if it is this machine, washing machine or dishwasher.

crun Mon 31-Aug-15 11:52:44

Yes they are safe.

Sectors of the workforce have been using radio for decades before it was in the hands of the general public, if radio was harmful there would have been a raised incidence of cancer among those.

The placebo effect works both ways, you will feel better if you believe a pill will make you better, but you will also feel unwell if you believe something is harmful (the nocebo effect). In blind trials the people who claim to sensitive can't actually tell whether they're being subjected to EMR or not, and will report symptoms if they think they're being irradiated even if they aren't.

It's conspicuous that this problem only appeared after radio was put in the hands of the general public rather than professional users, and that they then started reporting problems with equipment that had already been in trouble-free use for decades.

annodomini Mon 31-Aug-15 12:26:06

jingl, you don't need to squat in front of the meter to read what the energy use is at any one time. They give you a little gadget that you can site anywhere that gets the message from the meters and you can tell which of your appliances use the most. Kettle and toaster use a lot, but they are only on for a few minutes at the most. I am pleasantly surprised that the washing machine and dishwasher don't use as much as I expected.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 31-Aug-15 12:28:38

I won't let DH have one of those.

fluttERBY123 Mon 31-Aug-15 22:24:25

Panic over - I always panic first and then do other stuff later. The Huffington Post was good and crum made me remember all the fuss when we first got microwave ovens.

Liz46 Tue 01-Sep-15 06:43:25

We've got one and are quite happy with it. Put the kettle on and the monitor has a heart attack! It is mildly interesting to see how much something costs but has not affected our usage. If you were on a tight budget it could be helpful. I don't usually use ready meals but did once last week. I hesitated about putting the oven on for one small meal but it wasn't really suitable for the microwave. It cost 10p to cook the meal, so nothing to worry about.

Nelliemoser Tue 01-Sep-15 07:37:43

If someone tells you you might get a headache because of ABC you will be very likely to.
I cannot see how it can be any worse that WiFi in your home.

crun Tue 01-Sep-15 14:31:28

"Put the kettle on and the monitor has a heart attack!"

This is precisely why smart meters can be so misleading, it looks like the kettle is where all your money is going, but the real cost is in appliances that are on for protracted periods of time like fridges, freezers, tumble dryers etc.

fluttERBY123 Tue 01-Sep-15 23:26:05

Got back to my son to say he was wrong about the health risks and said Huffington (see jingl above) quoted a lot of convincing figures - he retorted that did I know where the figures came from? Follow the money, he said, and you will find they are produced by people the energy cos etc pay for.

So have a pain in bum where the fence cuts in. Still have a mild headache but wondering if it's the antibiotics I had from dentist. but then I only remembered we had had the meter put in when I realised I had the headache.

alchemillamollis Wed 02-Sep-15 00:06:45

I do think they are harmful to health, so I prefer to err on the side of caution. They're hardly essential, are they? I'm very interested in your son knowing about the health risks - is he a scientist?

alchemillamollis Wed 02-Sep-15 00:09:58


jinglbellsfrocks Wed 02-Sep-15 09:45:19

Do you really think the powers-that-be would allow anything to be widely used that could put further strain on the NHS?

They only transmit for one and a bit seconds in twentyfour hours! Gathering the information would be done electronically. That can't hurt you anymore than the timer on your cooker.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 02-Sep-15 09:46:38

alchemillamollis - link us to a sensible British article. One with the science clearly documented please.

fluttERBY123 Wed 02-Sep-15 11:07:43

I used to think that if the govt was elected they knew what they were doing. How naive can you get? I think we do relatively well here but politics in USA is driven by big business as every fule no and what they have over there comes over here in the end.

Elegran Wed 02-Sep-15 11:25:24

Do you use a mobile phone? An I-pad? A wi-fi link for your PC or laptop? do you worry about the safety of these?

Smart meters communicate in the same way.


"How the smart meter system communicates

Inside your home, your smart meter uses its own secure, wireless network system. This works in the same way as other wireless systems like mobile phones or TVs, using radio waves. (Though it is a wireless system you don’t need wifi in your home for it to work. And it won’t use your wifi if you do have it.) "

crun Wed 02-Sep-15 12:00:16

"Got back to my son to say he was wrong about the health risks and said Huffington (see jingl above) quoted a lot of convincing figures - he retorted that did I know where the figures came from? Follow the money, he said, and you will find they are produced by people the energy cos etc pay for."

At a trial the defence barrister is paid by the defendant, and the prosecution barrister paid by the state, perhaps the jury shouldn't believe anything either of them say.

If you tell me that people will die if they don't get enough to eat, and I reply that your just saying that because you want some of my dinner, have I proved that people can survive without food?

Some arguments are true even when there's a motive for making them, so the way to refute an argument is with counter evidence and a reasoned counter argument, not by impugning the motives of the advocate.

alchemillamollis Wed 02-Sep-15 13:23:34

Elegran, no, I don't use those things because yes, I do have concerns about their long-term safety. Not short-term safety. Smart meters are very easy things to do without. Why not take a precautionary approach?

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 02-Sep-15 13:25:02

I won't ask the obvious question.

Elegran Wed 02-Sep-15 13:44:18

Not even a mobile phone, alchemillamollis ?

Elegran Wed 02-Sep-15 13:49:36

Tinfoil helmet, anyone?

Penstemmon Wed 02-Sep-15 13:51:10

Our smart meter reader is by the cake tins! I look a it about twice a week. The DGCs were interested in it at firstand kept flicking on the kettle to watch the segments light up...but we have all forgotten about it now!
ps no headaches!!

Penstemmon Wed 02-Sep-15 13:53:45

elegran grin