When the European Union mandated that every country in the EU must adopt "smart meters", our wise and intelligent rulers thought that by jumping on the bandwagon, quickety-quick, the UK could carve out a tasty little export niche for itself.
Unfortunately, our politicians don't seem to understand exactly how little understanding of technology issues there is in Whitehall - or the malign self-interest that seems now to have undermined the whole idea.
On the one hand, neither the utilities nor the metering incumbents really wanted to do anything genuinely smart, while on the other, the pen pushers at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) wouldn't have a clue either way.
The result is a standard that is expensive for the consumers that will have to pay for it, non-standard and which will almost certainly be obsolescent within 10 years, possibly five.
It's not even smart in that consumers won't get real-time billing information - because utilities' billing systems won't be able to handle the data.
Well done DECC!