Smart meters are supposed to be, well, smart.
But that wasn’t the experience Rose Hamilton had when a smart meter was installed at her home for gas and electricity.
She claims her bills have rocketed since the meter was put in by Scottish Power.
And now she wants it taken out.
Rose, of Longbenton, Newcastle, said: “I have duel fuel with Scottish Power.
“They installed a smart meter in my home in November and then my nightmare began.
“I think I’m paying for the street because the bills are so high.”
“Scottish Power has demanded £505 for gas and £496 for electricity.
“I didn’t think a family would use this amount, never mind a 70-year-old living on her own who goes to bed at 8pm, doesn’t leave the heating on, and cooks very rarely.
“I have asked Scottish Power to take the meter out.
“The first lady I spoke was very understanding, put me on hold, but never came back.
“The same happened with a second lady.
“A man who I spoke to said they wouldn’t take it out but later made an appointment.
“Then I had a voicemail message saying they had cancelled the appointment.”
Rose has been told that a new appointment will be made but has not been given any dates,
She mas made a complaint to the ombudsman.
She believes her bills have almost doubled since the meter was installed.
She said: “I still need to know how they can justify these bills as they are impossible amounts for me on my own.
“I can’t sleep with the worry as I have always paid on time.”
Ofgem, the regulator for the energy industry, says no-one has to have a smart meter.
But suppliers will contact customers to ask if they want one.
They said: “While we and the government think that all consumers will benefit from smart meters, they aren’t compulsory and you can choose not to have one.
“Choosing not to have a smart meter may mean you don’t have access to all the available tariffs on the market, some of which could be cheaper.”
Smart meters cannot usually be taken out but they can be put into a “dumb” mode which effectively means the smart functionality will no longer work.
A spokeswoman for Scottish Power said they could not comment because Rose had made a complaint to the ombudsman and they would have to wait until the findings came through.