New government smart meter will cause conflict among housemates, says Nottingham UniBy Editor
Imagine if there was a way that you could prove to your flat mates that you’re not the one who’s responsible for the sky high electricity bill, or that you don’t spend hours in the shower as your reputation would suggest. It would end all disagreements and cause perfect harmony, right?
Well, the government are on their way to developing a new gadget that could settle disputes relating to energy once and for all! However, some experts are saying that such technology will only result in further arguments and bad feeling among flat mates.
The University Of Nottingham's Horizon Digital Economy Research department, after reviewing the new scheme that aims to introduce ‘Smart meters’ into every UK home by 2020, believe that the initiative will create a mood of ‘anger’, ‘fear’ and ‘shame’.
Dr Caroline Leygue who works in the department says: “Importantly, beyond simple effects on energy use, we were interested in how these displays influenced emotions and the interactions that people had around them. For example, if people saw that someone used more than their fair share of energy, depending on the display they felt more anger, or guilt and fear — not the intended consequence of installing an energy display!”
In theory, the meters will be useful in making individuals know the extent of their utility usage, and therefore coax them in to being more sparing.
However, the Nottingham University study found, when creating scenarios using the meters, that the byproduct caused negativity, such as:
36.4% would initiate a house meeting to sort out any problems with over energy use.
24.7% would demand the individual wasting the most energy would pay their share
23% would demand the individual wasting the most energy curb their usage.
So is this new concept by the government worth pursuing, or will it just create or exacerbate tension that doesn't need to be there? Do you have anyone in your house that doesn't pull their weight? How did you resolve the matter?
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