It’s a frightening concept but energy suppliers could soon have the technology to be able to turn off or cut off your appliances if they need to conserve the energy that they are using. The scheme is being put forward by The National Grid, who are responsible for maintaining the power grid in the UK and it could include items like the fridge and freezer as well as cookers and other white goods in the home. Critics have slammed the idea.
The National Grid says that wind farms and other renewable energy sources are not as predictable or reliable as traditional power stations. This, in turn, means that the Grid can struggle to meet load requirements especially if there is a usage spike. Backed by a major European Union energy group, the National Grid has urged for legislation that would see manufacturers place smart chips inside appliances that mean they could be controlled remotely by energy companies if a spike in usage was experienced.
Critics say that the scheme for allowing external forces to have power over our electrics while also questioning whether energy companies should be allowed to limit power usage without providing reimbursement. They also say that the move would save profit fuelled energy companies money because it would negate the need to start up emergency generators.
Perhaps the biggest criticism of all, however, is the news that the chips would cost around £40 and while it is manufacturers that would place them in machines, it is the general appliance buying public that would be forced to pay.