BY ALECIA PINNER. A MT Eliza couple has been sleeping in their van for six weeks as they believe their smart meter is making them sick.
Rosemary, who did not want her full name published, said her symptoms began soon after the smart meter was installed in October.
“I didn’t realise the meter had a radio transmitter in it which sends out microwaves 24-7,” she said.
” I am very sensitive to EMFs [electro-magnetic fields] and within no time I developed ringing in my ears, buzzing in my brain, headaches, heart palpitations, insomnia and other symptoms.
“I know my body very well. I was not like this prior to the smart meter. When I stay away, the symptoms clear up, only to return when I come home. To start with, I could go away from the house for a couple of hours and it would stop.
“Rosemary said her husband had also started to experience a high-pitched ringing in his ears, was “jittery” and having trouble sleeping.
She said she was hesitant to have her two-year-old granddaughter stay at the house and was overcome with nausea, feeling too unwell to complete everyday tasks. “I do the bare necessities now and I can’t take it.”
After Rosemary contacted the Energy and Water Ombudsman, Jemena representatives, who are responsible for installing smart meters, returned to her home. An installer told Rosemary he had turned power to the meter down 90%.
“I can’t notice any improvement and have no proof that the meter has been turned down. The Ombudsman says that if the meter complies with Australian Standards there is nothing they can do about it.
“She said Jemena had refused to swap the meter for a different design. “I still can’t spend much time in my home and my husband and I are both sleeping in the van.
My husband is battling cancer and does not need this stress and further damage to his immune system. After he had an operation last week, I had to bring him home to sleep in the car.”
Rosemary’s doctor has written a letter asking the company to remove the meter but Rosemary said Jemena had stopped returning her phone calls.
“California is now uninstalling smart meters as too many people have been made sick by them. Unless we can fix the problem, we may have to sell the house as we cannot live like this. My house is ruined, it is unlivable. My home was my refuge.
“Last month, five Victorian smart meter installers, including Jemena, issued a joint statement saying distributors remained confident the meters were safe. A Jemena spokesman did not return the Weeklys calls before deadline.