By PETER COLLINS 18 May, 2012
PENSIONER Pam Densley is risking being penalised for her continued defiant refusal to have a smart meter fitted to her household electricity supply, despite a new top-level report saying they are safe.
The Warrnambool war widow has had notes stuck around her meter box for months highlighting her concerns and has chased installers off her property.
She’s written to her home insurance company and even considered locking the meter box.
“I shouldn’t have to have one,” she told The Standard.
“I don’t want one until they are proven safe. A lot of concerns have been raised.”
According to electricity distributor Powercor, rollout of the new technology must be completed by the end of next year for all homes and businesses.
Any property owners refusing installation risk having their power supply cut off.
Powercor spokesman Hugo Armstrong said people were required by law to give the distributor safe and clear access to meters.
“We will always try to work with customers to resolve their issues,” he said.
“They can contact us on 1300 783 882.”
He said smart meters had been fitted at two-thirds of Warrnambool region properties and installers were back in the district to finish the program.
Health concerns were dismissed yesterday by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) which released its draft report on advanced metering infrastructure (smart meters).
It said the new meters posed no more risk than older electronic or electromechanical meters.
Energy Safe director Paul Fearon said much community debate on the meters was not based on facts or evidence and had alarmed the elderly and vulnerable.
However, the Electrical Trades Union later issued a statement urging consumers to read the report with “extreme caution”.
“This draft report in no way removes the need for continued scrutiny of the safety of the smart meter roll out and the rush to find that all is well in the face of contradictory evidence casts grave doubt on its credibility,” ETU Victorian branch secretary, Dean Mighell, said.