ELECTRICITY distributor Powercor says it has not told Geelong homeowners about their right to defer their Smart Meter installation because they should have seen the media coverage and government advertising on the issue.
Approximately 10,000 of the electricity-use monitors have been installed in Geelong, since rollouts began last month.
A further 100,000 are due by the start of next year.
The meters send usage information back to electricity retailers every 30 minutes, eliminating the need for physical meter readings or bill estimates and allowing consumers to scrutinise their electricity use.
But when Geelong Advertiser asked people about Smart Meters, confusion reigned.
Most homeowners were unaware they could defer the installation while the State Government completed a cost-benefit analysis on the monitors and on the impact of time-use tariffs, which could see customers paying more for power at peak times.
“They just came and installed the new smart meter to my property with out my consent. Not happy ” Janet
Public submissions on the review closed in June, but a spokeswoman for Premier Ted Baillieu said the final report wasn’t due until the end of the year.
The spokeswoman said there had been no delay on the report, as a completion date was never given.
Powercor spokesman Drew Douglas said the company was still legally obligated to install the Smart Meters, which the Brumby Government had made mandatory.
“All distributors and retailers want some certainty and are looking for it,” he said.
“Time-use tariff would be set by the government and I can’t comment on ‘what ifs’ about the outcome of the review.”
Mr Drew said letters sent to homeowners advising them of the rollout simply stated anyone with questions should contact an information line because “people were aware” of the deferral option.
Homeowners who do opt to defer the installation will still pay for the meter regardless, Mr Douglas said.
Visit powercor.com.au or phone 1300 783 882 for more information on the meters.