Government amps up its spin on smart meter roll out

The Department of Primary Industries’ latest advertisements on radio and in major and local Victorian newspapers appears to be scraping the bottom of the barrel in its attempt to ‘sell’ smart meters to Victorians.

In an advertising blitz estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of our taxpayers’ dollars, it is obvious that consumer resistance to smart meters is causing problems for the Baillieu Government.

Stating that ‘the greatest benefits to consumers will be delivered if the roll out continues” conveniently glosses over a number of issues. Deloitte, the latest firm to undertake a cost benefit analysis on behalf of the government, concluded in August of last year that the roll out of smart meters will now result in an overall net COST to consumers of $319 million dollars.  Earlier studies at least had a net benefit in their sights.  Less than half way through the roll out, the cost has now blown out by almost $2.5 billion, and is still rising!  In January 2012 alone, the power companies won court cases allowing them to add another $300,000,000 to the customers’ bills over the next couple of years.

The only way Deloitte was able to conjure up a net benefit to consumers if the roll out continued was by ignoring the massive costs that had already been sunk into the project (which we’ve all been paying for since the beginning of 2010).  But the analysis was only geared at identifying costs and benefits to electricity customers, stating that most of the other costs associated with the roll out are passed on to taxpayers.  Duuh…aren’t electricity customers also taxpayers?

In addition, how much tax-funded money actually has been budgeted to provide us with expensive glossy flyers and newsprint advertising packed with deceptive statements?  What would the supposed net benefit of continuing with the roll out be for consumers if these costs were included?  And nowhere in the ‘costs’ to consumers has any provision been made for adverse health outcomes.

And what exactly are these wondrous benefits the advertisements pronounce that are going to benefit consumers?  Why, goodness gracious, the government is going to use taxpayers’ money to provide us with subsidies so we can purchase in-home displays.  And what exactly do ‘in-home displays’ do, besides zapping microwaves between household appliances and the in-home display, so we can better irradiate ourselves and our neighbours in the privacy of our own homes?  They enable us to more precisely track our energy use when we run our fridges, washing machines and TVs.

Does the government really imagine that we are so stupid that we haven’t made the connection between switching on appliances and our resulting electricity bill?

And whoop-de-doo, the ‘major’ changes are also going to include tighter energy cost controls.  Exactly how is the government going to control the growing costs to the community of what appears to be an escalating health crisis?  Unfortunately the health standards which the government so reassuringly advises us are being met are ten years old and viewed by a number of scientists as obsolete.  And the question arises, why weren’t health issues included in the review?  Was the Government afraid of the outcome?

The Victorian Auditor-General’s recommendations (made in 2009) pointed to “emerging risks”. Exactly how does completely ignoring the emerging risks of radio frequency radiation on Victorians lead to accurate financial figures?  And how does ignoring government, taxpayer-funded costs of the smart meter roll out lead to accurate figures?  And how does sweeping aside consumers’ concerns with sham investigations address consumer issues?

All we hear is silence….

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20 Responses to Government amps up its spin on smart meter roll out

  1. I know this web page offers quality based articles and other information, is there any other
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  2. Sandra says:

    Read the report dpi had done by consultants. It is highly contradictory in that it states it was not practical to test at 6 minutes -anyway it would not normally happen that they would interrogate the meter at that rate anyway. Then I had a letter from my local MP stating that other appliances were higher in radiation count. Mobile phones, microwaves ovens, etc. I pointed out to him that we didn’t use these items 24/7, however, smart meters were fitted to run 24/7 and could actually report on what appliance we were using and when. I don’t think I like being monitored to that extent. I don’t think I like this Australia we are becoming!! I am going to make a report of my own asking questions arising out of the EMC report.

  3. Richard Leschen says:

    Dear Anonymous,
    You do not need to go to Jail. I have written to the C.E.O of my Electric Power Comany and told him in a number of letters ( All sent Registerd Post for Legal reasons read Court Action ) That I refuse to accept an Electric Smart Meter at any time now, or in the future.” He has never been been brave enough to even telephone me, or write to me. What he did do was to get one of his women minions to try to bully and threaten me with…..words to this effect from one of his very UNWISE ‘ Women Customer Service Officers. Her words went something like this…….
    ” We at PowerCor will send you three letters asking you to accept an Electrical Smart Meter, if after around 4 months you refuse to accept an Electrical Smart Meter we shall cut off your electrical power. ” To say that I was shocked would be an understatement ! ”
    I kept my cool and answered in the vein of………
    ” Would you please be so kind as to put that in writing Ms ( Name withheld at this juncture )
    But answer came there none. I politely challenged her again. This time her answer was…….
    ” Errrr Errrr NO ! ”
    ” Good for you,” I answered, ” for should you be so stupid as to put that in writing and send it to me I can promise you I will sue you for your house, all of your Bank Money, and your Jet Ski or any other toys you have and all your clothing, so that you will only have your bathing suit and a pair of thongs to stand in. ” A great wailing ensued as this unwise woman broke into great sobs.
    To cut to the chase the telephone was taken off her by her woman boss who asked ………
    ” What on Earth is going on there ? ”
    I gave her boss all the details and the outcome for the woman who have threatened me so severely.
    Her boss apologised for her minion’s rudeness and gave the minion a good-talking-to.
    Her boss also said to me, that no-one is allowed to threaten a client with cutting off their electricity.

    Well of course my Electric Meter box is firmly padlocked and the Legal Commonwealth Constitution Anti-Tresspass clauses are clearly spelt out warning anybody who trespasses on my property that they will incur a $167,00.00 fine. So far this has kept the Smart Meter Installer Man off my property. I have trained my very polite Electricity Meter Reader Man to knock on my door when he wants to ready my meter, as someone is always at home 24 hours per day. I also have the same type of Legal Sign posted on my Electric Meter Box. So far I have had no more Letters from The Power Company for the past few months.
    Let’s hope it stays that way, or this Electricity Power Company will be in more trouble than they can shake a stick at.

    ADVICE TO ALL VICTORIANS………” It is not the LAW that you have to accept a Smart Meter on your property against your Will and Better Judgement, These Foreign Owned Electric Power Companies are all telling LIES. ” Please do not be affraid, It is they who should be VERY AFRAID FOR THE TIME SOON COMETH WHEN THEY WILL BE VERY LIKELY DRAGGED INTO COURT KICKING AND SCREAMING TO FACE THEIR ACCUSERS AS IS NOW HAPPENING IN CALIFORNIA AND MANY OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD.
    Please email me on……………………….
    rvimana@vic.chariot.net.au.
    Signed,

    Richard Leschen.

    • DAZZA says:

      Im concerned that not enough people are putting up a fight, the more you put your head in the sand the more smart meters are getting fitted. Powercor ive noticed are installing them in a very clever manner in that they only fit 1 or 2 homes per street so as not to bring attention on themselves. Doing it this way isolates people by themselves and are less inclined to make a stand, so i think the best way to handle this, is if you see the installer in your street then you need to alert your neighbours and try and get a group togeather so people dont feel alone in their fight against the samart meter.

      • Freedom Fighter says:

        They are also now telliing lies and bullying. A number of people in our area have been bullied on the phone when they ring to say they are not going to have one installed and some installers are doing the same. They are also telling people they will have to pay a high price like a $1000 to have it installed later if they refuse, and as many they are saying this to are elderly or not sure of their rights they let them put it in. One person who has locked their meter box was told we will just come and bust your lock and install it. Another person who saw them in his street this week was watching out the window and he said they went straight past his place as his gate is locked with the “no trespass” sign he downloaded off this site. But they took photos of his place and the signs from his car. I have to ask “Do we still live in Australia? or are we under Communist or Socialist rule now?”

      • Informed Citizen says:

        Hi Dazza,

        The method you described actually is very effective.

        I know of a cases overseas, where a group of persons in a block of units took in in turn to keep a vigil, complete with pen and notepad for documenting possible identification of the installer.or registration number plate of vehicle, plus they had video cameras to document as well should anything untoward occur like locks broken or assault, as has happened in other parts of the globe. As this ramps up this will start to get really nasty.

        This is not over by a long shot and the utilities industry know it from their experiences in other nations. Never surrender, never give in, and in the end we will win what we should have never lost in the first place = our human right to life free from the extra electro-pollution illegally imposed on us without our consent.
        .

        • Terry says:

          “Electro-pollution”

          Excellent description! Hope it catches on. Might pinch it if you don’t mind 🙂

          • Informed Citizen says:

            Terry,

            No problems, feel free to use either “electro-pollution” or the non hyphenated term most popular = “electropollution”. Both mean exactly the same thing.

            PS – a word of warning: when searching sites which mention electropollution, etc, some sites will be selling gadgets not to measure wireless radiation, but rather they will try to sell cell phone stickers and the like (as mitigation strategies).

            From many years of personal experience and asking the hard questions, there is no scientific basis to their efficacy, and some of the scientific claims on one site are skewed so badly that one must exercise caution, without throwing their money away frivolously.

            I find the best strategy it to limit exposure to electromagnetic fields (RF & ELF), eat well, try to get a good nights sleep, and eat healthy food, and drink filtered water.

  4. Susan Reed says:

    This is a worldwide scourge, and it is ramping up everywhere. I have slept in a car in a parking lot for over a year because since 3rd meters in my area I can’t fall to sleep at my own home. before I could. They say the meters only give off little amounts, but the bursts over and over are biologically active. If my state would allow opt outs I would move to the country and get an opt out to have a better place to live. But we do not yet have opt outs and most people have no clue about this. How could this happen in a country supposedly with individual freedoms like America?

    • Richard Leschen says:

      Dear Readers,
      Things are getting extremely interesting now, with this Present Ted Baillieu Liberal Victorian Government now trying so desperately to win us all over to accepting these Devilish Electric Smart Meters. Yes, this Victorinan Government is now wasting even more of your and my and other taxpayers money trying to literally hypnotise us into thinking that the Electric Smart Meters are………..The best things since SLICED BREAD !
      Who do they think they’re kidding ? Certainly Not Me !

  5. Ryan says:

    The original article and the response from Linda, have hit the nail right on the head the worry for us is that the major Newspapers ignoring all our letters which is what I think we are seeing now, will hurt our cause, at the same time, the fact that they have to spend more money doing this to try and persuade the public about these devices proves that the numbers of people refusing them is rising, I think this site is making a huge difference, we need to keep this pressure up, keep doing what you are doing, contact radio stations, local Newspapers, internet forums it all counts and it gets the message out there, talk to people and make them see how wrong this all is, we can do it, we can ruin their forced rollout.

  6. Informed Citizen says:

    Once again a false economy has been created with absolutely no benefit to the customer. To the Power Industry and Telecommunication Industry they refer to us as ‘consumers’. I am getting sick and tired of their propaganda which is being funded unknowingly by the tax payer.

    As more houses burn and more appliances are destroyed by the smart meters, I hope that people will wake up and stand their ground. At this point in time several persons are already becoming very sensitive to the radiofrequencies emitted by the smart meters (and the system is not even fully operational).

    When the smart meter system is fully operational there will be another constant layer of electromagnetic smog, contributing to an already heavy polluted environment. To destroy the environment is absolutely criminal and can only be considered as ecocide. For example: Bats have the iron oxide particles (magnetite) in their body. Bats Use Magnetite to Detect the Earth’s Magnetic Field http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0001676

    Birds have the iron oxide particles (magnetite) in their body. Bird navigation: what type of information does the magnetite-based receptor provide? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1664630/ Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) Clashes with Honey Bees: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES http://www.ipublishing.co.in/jesvol1no12010/EIJES2044.pdf

    The power industry is the biggest polluter on the planet http://barnabyisright.com/2011/07/25/the-500-biggest-polluters-exposed-everything-the-government-is-not-telling-you/

    I think that if some one researched into what industry uses the greatest amount of water, I am of the opinion that the power industry and the telecommunication industry would top the list. I do wish that those in authority looked at the big picture and actually took the time to read some peer reviewed science. There are very big problems with the smart meter deployment, which will affect every person in the world, and the poor animals are having their natural habitats destroyed.

    What has become of the world I once knew? Technology at the expense of destroying the planet is not achieving, but going backwards to the point of no return. This madness must be stopped!

    • Eric says:

      Regarding Informed Citizen’s information…
      The irony of (my supply area) United Energy Distribution which is 66% owned by DUET; given their (UED’s) statement that they are committed to protecting the environment, with a goal to achieve ZERO environmental harm.

      http://www.duet.net.au/dafiles/Internet/web/au/duet/investor-centre/investor-reports/annual-reports/docs/duet-annual-report-2011.pdf
      (Page 17)
      “The environment
      We are committed protecting the environment, with a goal to achieve zero environmental harm as part of our day-to-day operations.
      Our focus is to ensure a sustainable network for future generations. In this highly regulated industry, we recognise the importance of compliance with all applicable health, safety and environmental legislation.”

      Environmental impact assessment anyone? Massive area you know.

      We only have to look at these companies, who are (in the big scheme of things) in contract with government, to see what this “smart meter” scheme is all about. (In part no doubt).

      http://www.duet.net.au/asset-portfolio
      “Asset portfolio
      DUET invests in energy utility assets with strong competitive positions which offer predictable cash flows. DUET’s diversified portfolio of assets comprises:

      United Energy Distribution 66.0% interest”

      http://www.duet.net.au/dafiles/Internet/web/au/duet/investor-centre/investor-reports/annual-reports/docs/duet-annual-report-2011.pdf

      “United Energy
      United Energy had a solid year, with revenue up 9% and EBITDA up 4% due to the increased contribution from the Smart Meter roll out program and the new regulatory pricing introduced in January 2011. The final regulatory determination, published in October 2010, saw UED’s regulatory capital expenditure allowance increase by approximately 70% on the previous regulatory period, providing UED with a mandate to grow its regulated asset base. Based on the regulator’s final decision, UED’s tariffs will increase by CPI plus an average of around 3.5% per annum through to 2015. UED’s smart meter roll-out program is progressing well, with 139,500 meters installed as at 30 June 2011. The program represents a significant further opportunity to invest to grow the regulated asset base of UED…

      Outlook
      The 2012 financial year will be an important year for DUET. We will see United Energy transition to its new operating model, and the continuation of UED’s network expansion and smart meter roll-out and Multinet’s pipeworks renewal programme. These initiatives will provide customers with better service and improved network performance and will grow the Group’s regulated asset base.”

      Don’t you love it…
      They charge you for the smart meter, put it on their books as an asset (you payed for it) and make profit via their asset base, not to mention they get a guaranteed yearly CPI increase, plus an average of around 3.5% per year until 2015 in their tariffs…and all thanks to regulation.

      Please tell me if I’m reading this wrong.

    • Eric says:

      Regarding my earlier reply to Informed Citizen.
      The correct link for UED’s customer charter (blatant mistruths, I consider them LIES) should be:

      http://www.ue.com.au/customers/download/UE_Customer%20Charter_Brochure_web.pdf
      (Page 17)
      “The environment
      We are committed protecting the environment, with a goal to achieve zero environmental harm as part of our day-to-day operations..”

      Environmental impact assessment anyone? Massive area you know.

  7. Lets take the Power back says:

    Congratulations on a fantastic article. I trust you have sent this to all media – even though many seem to ignore anything against smart meters from the public, I’m sure someone would listen and print it. Well done and keep up the fight. Like Anonymous, I too would be prepared to go to jail, but I think it is more likely I will be going without power, and I am also prepared to do that, and I know many others are too. Interesting that we are talking about an essential service here isn’t it? I will not have a smart meter of any sort, gas, water or power installed at my home. I have spent the last 12 months removing items that may or will cause adverse health effects, so I will not be introducing anything that does. I feel sorry for those who have chosen not to investigate the possible effects on themselves and their children and fought for their rights, and I cannot express how it upsets me to know that many elderly and those without internet access would be completely “in the dark” about what may be ahead for them, given the limited media coverage or information supplied to them. Congratulations again and please send this article to all media, it deserves publication.

  8. Freddie says:

    Completely agree with above article. What’s happening now in Victoria is immoral, not worthy of a country that wants to call itself a democracy. All Victorians will pay a huge price, either purely financial or in health and dislocation too. It beggars belief that a state goverment could be so incompetent, uncaring and corrupt. We all deserve a lot better.

  9. Linda R. Floyd says:

    In British Columbia, Canada, the monopoly Crown Corporation BC Hydro has a budget of $8.6 Million of public monies for advertising about smart meters. How can the general public match that? The media has given very little time or respect to the concerns expressed by the general public.

    Our Provincial Government took BC Hydro out from under the purview of the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) re the smart meter program. The Coalition to Stop Smart Meters BC and Citizens for Safe Technology legal attempt for an Injunction via the BCUC was turned down in spite of thousands of citizens writing to the BCUC which is supposed to protect citizens. We are now in the Appeal Process.

    Only the smaller, local newspapers throughout the province have been publishing our Letters to the Editor re smart meters and have been writing some articles about citizens’ viewpoints. The 3 largest newspapers (2 in Vancouver and 1 in Victoria) have mostly been “hands off the hot potato” since BC Hydro started their big ads in all the newspapers in May 2011.

    Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 (almost identical to USA’s FCC) is also outdated but is continually referred to by government officials. Health Canada does not have regulations based upon the disease-causing effects associated with exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Instead, Health Canada has a guideline called Safety Code Six which is designed to protect our bodies from overheating due to EMR exposure. This is devastating to everyone’s health because it takes thousands of times more energy to heat a cell than what it takes to disrupt normal cellular function and cause illness. Consequently, very dangerous exposure levels are allowed by the Canadian Government and we are unwittingly being made ill from every-day exposures to cell phones, Wi-Fi, and smart meters.

    The general public’s misunderstanding of the Safety Code Six guideline has resulted in citizens not pressuring the Canadian Government to create standards based upon negative biological effects and has allowed Health Canada to get away with very lax exposure standards.

    Health Canada’s deceptive behaviour makes no sense at all, unless you consider that the protection of public health may not be the highest priority for our health protection authorities.

    This battle against government officials and mostly monopoly utility companies is occurring world-wide. It is mind-boggling that this can happen even in supposedly democratic societies. But if regular citizens stand together, educate themselves and everyone they know, and absolutely refuse any smart meter, the utilities will have to pay attention. How many customers can a utility afford to lose to independence? If we have to, we will transfer to propane cook stove, fridge, on-demand water heater, and a couple of small heaters. We live in a rural area and already heat by wood stove. We can do enough solar for lighting, TV, and computer. We can purchase a propane generator for dark months of winter and my husband’s woodworking tools.

    We must all remain steadfast and help one another. This is very surreal but it is really happening. And people cannot stay apathetic.

    Best of luck!

    from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

  10. jackV says:

    Well said. Not only are ALL the benefits for the power companies, but there are negative benefits (if there’s such a thing) for the public. And it’s a good point that the cost of adverse heath effects should be included in any analysis, particularly since we are already seeing people’s health affected by these dumb meters.

  11. paula says:

    That is an excellent article- should go into local and major newspapers.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well they can talk all they like..I will go to jail before I allow them to place a meter at my home. I do not trust them..I will never trust the meters….and all the health concerns have not been investigated…and people are still getting sick and leaving their homes. There must be such a thing is overdosing on this kind of radiation causing people to get sick..maybe the amount of appliances we have exposes us to our limit..and these meters push us over the edge of how much we can take..I don’t know..but I have enough issues with einging in the ears, headaches etc without chancing this meter which may or may not make me worse..I cannot afford to leave my home to avoid the effects…and now will I subject myself to any fire..I will not leave my home..I will stay and keep guard so to speak..just in case..i don’t care if the meter is causing it or if idiots are causing it by sneaking around and interfering with other peoples meters..I cannot and will not risk it…

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