WITH the rollout of smart meters about to kick off in Port Phillip, one St Kilda body corporate manager has reported being offered financial inducements to install the meters.
“We were offered money in the form of payments, which is against the law,” one prominent body corporate manager, who declined to be named, said.
Other energy providers have rolled out smart meters north of Balaclava Rd. Citipower is about to start the rollout south of Balaclava Rd.
The apartment manager said Citipower did not offer any inducement but he declined to name the provider that did.
“Somebody is making a packet here and none of the regulators or authorities are looking into it,” he said.
Energy and Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O’Brien said the State Government would be concerned “if inducements were being offered and would follow up such claims if more details were provided”.
Mr O’Brien has reiterated his advice to customers that the meters could be stalled or deferred.
“Consumers who do not want a smart meter are able to refuse the installation until the State Government’s review of this new equipment is completed,” Mr O’Brien said.
They are then placed on a deferral list.
Citipower, just one of the energy providers in the area, will start the rollout in Port Melbourne and South Melbourne next month.
St Kilda is expected to follow in early 2012.
Citipower spokesman Drew Douglas said customers would receive two letters before the installation.
“There is a 10-day window between the letters and the installation,” Mr Douglas said.
He said this is the best time to tell them if you want to defer the smart meter installation.
The review of smart meters has been recommended by the Auditor General.