Smart grid consumer backlash: This time it's the UK (and it may be even worse)

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By Jesse Berst

 

The Daily Mail, a UK newspaper with tabloid tendencies, is using the UK's pending smart meter rollout as the excuse to run a "Big Brother" scare story. As the Daily Mail tells it: "Fridges and freezers in millions of British homes will automatically be switched off without the owner’s consent under a ‘Big Brother’ regime..."

 

In point of fact, the appliances will shut off only in very rare cases of grid stress, and then only for a few moments. As proved by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in its tests of its Grid-Friendly chip, the short-duration shutdowns are not even noticed by consumers. (For instance, a refrigerator can keep cool for hours and suffers almost no effect if the start of the compressor is delayed by five minutes.)