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Smart Meters Serve to Nudge Compliance With Carbon Climate Change Narrative

"I realised it's the first thing I do in the morning, and when you see how much you've already spent it makes your tummy take a lurch," one UK woman told the BBC.
Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: March 2, 2023
Smart Meters nudge obedience to the carbon climate change narrative
A file photo of a smart meter in October of 2021 in London, England. Smart meters are claimed to have benefits to users in providing variable electricity rates that can save end users money. But in practice, their ability to nudge consumer habits to comply with carbon climate change narratives is a powerful tool. (Image: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Although the advent of smart meters for billing household electricity usage has still evaded all but limited locales in North America, the United Kingdom has launched a nationwide campaign to install the monitors in every home.

However, the devices provide little practical utility to consumers over conventional meters and seem to serve little purpose other than to nudge homeowners into concerning themselves with electrical consumption and its associated costs.

A Feb. 28 article by the UK’s The Telegraph titled Why You Should Say No to Getting a Smart Meter was titled hotly, but only passively challenged the implementation of the devices.

Nonetheless, The Telegraph explained that smart meters were a boon to utilities providers, who are able “to use the devices to charge households more to use power at peak times, with cheaper rates available when demand is lower.”


Additionally, with smart meters in play, providers would be able to force households who fall behind on their bills into prepaid-only mode, similar to how cell companies remotely turn off your data and voice access when they want to get paid.

Under the conventional metering system, utilities companies have to obtain a warrant to physically enter the home to install a prepaid metering device.

For those unfamiliar with smart meters, The Telegraph explains, “Smart meters come with a display device to track how much energy is being used more accurately. It sends readings automatically to suppliers, meaning customers are less likely to underpay or overpay for gas and electricity.”

While the notion sounds like a win, the article explains that utilities providers use the function to vary rates throughout the day to charge more for electricity during peak hours, which is offset by discounts during times such as the middle of the night.

Most importantly, however, is the aspect wherein smart meters employ a digital display to show homeowners real time updates of how much electricity they’re using and how much they are being charged at all times.

The goal is to nudge people into using less energy, complying with carbon climate change narrative agendas.

“Champions of smart meters claim that the ability for a household to see how much energy it uses will change habits,” the article reads.

The Telegraph concluded, “Smart meters give households more accurate data on how much their own home is using. Proponents of the devices claim that gives customers more information on usage and ultimately saves money and energy.”

Case in point, Europe is home to a non-profit called the Nudging Project, which defines “nudging” on its website as, “The holy grail of energy efficiency demands drastic changes in the overall energy-related behaviour of consumers.”

The group claims that nudging was “first used by public authorities to improve the welfare of society,” and further elaborates that the tactic is really just “a soft push, that can make people act or react — and consume less energy — because they are told their neighbours or peers do so for instance or by changing the default settings of energy devices.”

This form of social influencing appears to lack popularity in mainstream UK society. The Telegraph published a Feb. 9 commentary piece titled Smart Meters Are a Symbol of the Elite Drive to Nudge Britain Into Submission.

Author Allister Heath lamented that “…behaviour or aspirations that were entirely uncontroversial a few years ago – heating or cooling one’s home, travelling to Australia or India, driving to the shops or to see family, living in a quiet suburb far from one’s place of work, even having children – are now suddenly being portrayed as not merely vulgar but damaging and immoral.”

And Heath isn’t exaggerating. A recently published report by two World Economic Forum partners and organizations opined that city governments—and especially their mayors—need to take drastic action to “intervene” in the normal lives of citizens in order to force a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The paper, which was co-authored with researchers from the UK’s Leeds University, boldly states that by 2030, the “ambitious” target for partner cities would involve completely eliminating private vehicles, an outright disappearance of meat and dairy from the human diet, and even mandating that residents can only purchase three items of clothing each year.

Unfortunately for opponents of the initiatives, evidence shows nudging works.

During the peak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic when vaccines started being rolled out at scale, municipal and state governments tried a litany of soft approaches to encourage vaccination uptake, which were widely unsuccessful.

For example, in June and July of 2021, media reported that a $5 million lottery that included a chance at winning a $55,000 scholarship ran by the State of Michigan where the entry ticket was acceptance of vaccination did almost nothing to increase vaccine uptake.

Yet, once participation in society and even keeping your private sector job became predicated on the ability to flash a vaccine passport, the majority of populations obediently rolled up their sleeve and accepted injection.

It was France, which at times had polled as the most COVID vaccine hesitant nation in Europe, that proved the pudding first.

When in July of 2021 President Macron announced a federal law that would require a vaccine passport to participate in public activities, penalizing business owners who refused to participate with up to a year in prison, statistics showed that 1.7 million citizens booked an appointment to take the jab the same day.

The Nudging Project posits that there are six categories of nudging, two of the more notable are “fear nudges” and “confronting nudges.”

Fear nudges are defined as nudges “that attempt to generate fear and uncertainty,” while confronting nudges “seek to prevent an unwanted behaviour by instilling doubt about it.”

This tactic was also on display during COVID.

When citizens in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand began to amass for huge public protests against lockdowns and Chinese Communist Party social credit system-emulating vaccine passports, local politicians simply used the approach of demonizing participants as anti-science extremists.

When the French protested, Macron told the media, “This is not freedom, it is called irresponsibility, egoism…If tomorrow you infect your father, your mother or myself, I am a victim of your freedom when you had the possibility of having something to protect you and me.”

In Australia, when residents of New South Wales protested mandates imposed by at the time Premier Gladys Berejiklian, she called participants “illegal protesters” and told the public she was “utterly disgusted” by their protesting.

Berejiklian was forced to resign in October of 2021 after a long running scandal involving a secret romantic relationship with a disgraced federal MP who was embroiled in a corruption scandal involving CCP-linked entities became too hot to handle.

A Feb. 6 BBC article chronicled the guilt and addiction one UK woman found her smart meter generating.

The article explained the woman had moved into a new home, equipped with a smart meter, and at first “quite liked how it told her much she was spending in real time.”

But the honeymoon was short lived, she admitted, “I realised it’s the first thing I do in the morning, and when you see how much you’ve already spent it makes your tummy take a lurch.”

The BBC said the woman “describes herself as having smart meter anxiety, and laughs while explaining that she’s had to turn the display unit to face the wall.”

She stated, “I just don’t want that financial worry to be in my face all the time.”