(Melanie Hall) The measures proposed by the UK’s National Grid, along with its counterparts in 34 European countries, to install the controversial devices are backed by one of the European Union’s most influential energy bodies.
They are pushing for the move because green energy sources such as wind farms are less predictable than traditional power stations, increasing the risk of blackouts
The proposals were sent to the European Commission on March 27, and it is set to deliver its verdict on the proposals within three months, the Mail on Sunday reported.
They could then go to the European Parliament to be turned into legislation that would force manufacturers to install the monitors, which could see new appliances containing the sensors hitting the shops within three years.
Critics condemned the ‘Big Brother’ proposals, attacking the energy giants who they said would make millions of pounds extra profit under the scheme, as it would save them from firing up reserve generators or paying factories to switch off furnaces to quell demand.
There is no suggestion in the measures that consumers will be compensated for having their appliances shut down.
The sensors, which will automatically detect spikes in demand for power that the grid is struggling to meet, and temporarily shut off the appliances, could also add £40 to the average price of white goods for consumers, critics warned.
David Davis, the former Tory leadership candidate, said: “There is a Big Brother element to this – and it also shows the energy suppliers passing down their incompetence to the customers.
“They should be supplying energy as customers need it, not the when they want to give it.
‘There is something Soviet about this. It’s a ridiculous idea and it should be opposed. I hope the government puts its foot down.”
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