Smart meter - Dumb implementation

Our electricity supplier (currently British Gas) have just done a meter exchange fitting us with a "Smart Meter" instead of the really old analogue wheel variety. The new meter has a mobile modem & sends daily readings back to them so no more estimated bills, ever. The meter also comes with a remote display unit (not touch screen as advertised by BG) showing current usage and approximate cost -- think CurrentCost but with the ergonomic design of a 60s council block, though presumably using the same current-measurement method as the meter uses for billing, so unlike CurrentCost (which has to use non-invasive sensing) should be guaranteed to be "accurate" (or at least match the inaccuracy of the billing).

However, it's quickly apparent that they (and probably all the companies fitting meters) are doing this is rollout in a pretty half-arsed way. Why? Because they're implementing new meters but barely scratching the surface of the benefits.

1. The meter sends back readings daily, but the billing systems can still only handle QUARTERLY (yes, quarterly) billing, and by default British Gas will leave you on the regular monthly debit based on 1/12 of expected utilisation rather than billing you for the *actual* monthly usage their meters are collecting

2. They go on about helping customers understand usage by showing comparison usage data on their website, but this will still only be quarterly too (right, so comparing winter with spring is never going to be very useful is it?) - despite the meter sending daily usage and obviously being capable of recording minute-by-minute used

3. The accompanying display shows usage for the past 24 hours or past month. No ability to compare today against yesterday. And no ability to download the data to a computer to do that analysis (as you can with CurrentCost)

4. No ability to get current utilisation from the meter or display in any "interface" format - ie to hook to a PC or upload somewhere. So if you want to overcome the severe brainless limitations of BG's implementation you can't get the data yourself.

All of the above means that the single only benefit of the "smart meter" is that it saves British Gas from paying someone to read the meter. Given the cost of the new meters & staff to fit them, this is an utterly wasted opportunity.

Time to upgrade my CurrentCost an openenergymonitor.org device.

Whilst the meter