Monday 11 May 2009 by Jeff Nicols

Gas and electric smart meters to include GPS functionality


Gas and electricity customers using new smart meters are in for a treat, says British Gas.

From 2010, not only will new meters allow customers to see how much energy they are using, but the new software upgrade will incorporate a built-in GPS unit.

Doubling Estimates

A spokesman for the utility giant said: “This service offers a significant advantage to the service offered by our competitors, because our customers will be able to see the location of their house updated in real time, 24 hours a day.”

The energy supplier is thought to be in talks with Apple over an iphone app which will allow users of the handheld device to check their home’s position from anywhere around the globe.

The move is widely expected to be the world’s first use of in-home satnav.

Snivel Liberty

However, not everyone agrees with the technology.

Privacy rights watchdog Liberty said: “This information will sit on a database somewhere and could be used by power companies to find out where literally millions of customers live.”

“This could in turn be passed on, or people could use the billing correspondence to open bank accounts or order British passports.”

In an apparent snub to the competition, the British Gas spokesman went on: “Our competition is E-ons behind us. They’re like Virgins compared to the prowess we display.”

Puns aside, the new smart meters are sure to spark more debate.

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