Smart meters too toxic to touch – Sydney Morning Herald

It is perhaps the biggest single public policy failure in the energy sector of the past decade – mandated smart meters which are being introduced in Victoria.

With the cost of the roll-out now estimated at more than $2 billion – more than twice the initial estimated cost – it has added another lucrative profit source to the activities of the power distributors.

And the backlash has been so intense that the Australian Energy Markets Commission omitted any reference to “smart meters” in its 192-page report released yesterday. The report outlines a series of measures to overhaul the electricity market by boosting so-called demand-side participation – that is, measures to encourage lower demand at times of peak electricity prices.

The report is littered with the term “better metering” and even “interval metering” as a means of introducing “more innovative pricing options” to the electricity market, to cut the need for a new round of capital spending.

The issue of smart meters has become so toxic politically that the NSW government, for example, refuses to countenance a mandated roll-out, fearful of a tabloid newspaper-generated backlash, such as occurred in Victoria, even though the federal government is threatening penalties if it doesn’t go down this path.

And as Victoria has found, there has been no advantage in being the “first mover” in introducing smart meters, since technology has moved on since it launched this program several years ago now, especially since many so-called smart meter functions are little more than a smartphone app these days – especially with the national broadband roll-out.

The power industry knows it can save billions of dollars in spending by cutting demand during the peak usage times of early morning and the evenings, but for most households the amount of money likely to be saved is so limited that it is barely worth the effort.

Rather, the savings are more readily demonstrated for larger commercial and industrial users, which should be the focus of much of the efforts to manipulate power demand.

Brian Robins, Sydney Morning Herald

via Smart meters too toxic to touch.

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10 Responses to Smart meters too toxic to touch – Sydney Morning Herald

  1. Rosemary says:

    Another option is to take a good quality photo of your meter reading for the company to bill you. Keep your meter boxes locked. Otherwise you could lose your home like we did because of a smart meter. We are now in QLD and feeling much better, but still haven’t found a place to settle. Looking forward to the class actions, but no amount of money could compensate us for all the trauma, sickness and loss we have suffered. I don’t know how these people can live with themselves.

  2. Beatrix Vant says:

    They smuggled the smart meter into the old meter box while we were away – no protection whatsoever behind the meter; the meter is attached INSIDE the brick veneer!!! on the outside area of the inside wall cover made out of chalk – gyprock its called? a mere 2cm between our heads and the meter itself – our bed is on the other side of this wall, what a disgrace! Called Powercor, the answer was “its a government initiative” –
    well, Hitler ordered the massacre of Jews, gipsies and communists – did it justify what he did just because it was a “government initiative?” Are these corporates and politicians for real? Tassi seems like an option, unless we pack up and move overseas if we want to live a bit longer.

    • Pam says:

      Beatrix – they are supposed to Line your Box. Don’t ring them write to them and tell them to get their arse into gear and line your box. Tell them you didn’t want a un-healthy Smart Meter in the first place. Explain your Health and Safety concerns and ask them to give you something in writing guaranteeing your Health and Safety. Register it and ask for a form to be sent to you letting you know they received your letter. You are not the only one whose box is not lined. That’s what they get paid to do!!!!. If it was me (I still have my analogue and my box is locked and signs everywhere) I would try and buy another analogue meter and get a qualified electrician to install it and chuck the Smart Meter in the tip (if it is safe to put them there!!!!!). My meter box like yours is behind my bedhead and to have my meter box relocated to the front of the house I had a quote and it is well over $3,000.00 which is not an option for me, seeing my analogue meter is perfectly OK. In the meantime move your bed to another room. The letter you will get back will be the same as mine – they can’t guarantee my Health and Safety but blah blah blah and I can’t opt -out. Well we will see about that. My Solicitor has written to them asking a heap of questions to – to date no response. We will win this Beatrix but it is going to take time. Did you have your boxed locked??? or any signs displayed???? Good Luck..Pam 🙂

  3. Cedar Wilde says:

    I agree with you Pam, unfortunately I couldn’t stop my neighbours from having them installed> I don’t know if they are suffering yet but I am, with burning headaches, very scary because of what they may lead to. I need to find somewhere to live where they don’t have these things but my family are here so I can’t go far. Is there anywhere in Victoria where they don’t have them?

    • Pam says:

      Cedar – what about Tassie or get the bloody thing out and put another analogue meter in. I got a quote to have my meter box moved from my bedroom wall to the front of the house and it was over $3000.00 – I am on a Pension and this is not an option for me. Why should we have to move it is disscusting!!!!!! They are in my area again so I won’t be going far today at all. My box Locked and if they break the lock i will sue them. My Solicitor has written to Power Cor telling them to leave me alone the Bastards. I feel for the people that are affected – go to Human Rights — I don ‘t know what to suggest anymore, this is a nightmare for all of us. But I know we WILL WIN if we fight hard enough and never give in to the mongrels……… see a Solicitor like I did it has cost me about $200 so far for two letters, because I just didn’t know what to do anymore………..Good Luck.Pam

  4. Cedar Wilde says:

    I congratulate Tasmania for taking this position. You will be the healthier for it. I am not a person who imagines herself sick, in fact I am much more inclined to think that any illness I feel will soon go away but I have to say since “Smart meters” I have had a burning feeling (some people would call it a headache I suppose, but to me it feels like the inside of my head is burning and no-one wants to know). “Oh the effect of “Smart Meters” it’s minimal I am told. Well, it’s not minimal to me! Am I just supposed to die to provide a profit for some company? I don’t believe it is “just” 3% of people who will be affected, since it is cumulative I think it will ultimately affect everyone, although many won’t realize what their problems are caused by. If our government is forcing the states to implement a dangerous procedure because they have entered into bad agreements with other countries (presumably because there is a pay-off for them) then they are no better than the worst of dictators.

  5. Don Maisch says:

    Here in Tasmania the power people (Aurora and Transend) have no plans on introducing smart meters in their 5 year forward planning. And the latest is that they are seeing the fiasco in Victoria and have no wish to commit to an emerging high-tech white elephant. So, for the foreseeable future Tassie will be free of these monstrosities.

    Don

    • Pam says:

      Don – How lucky are you in Tassie. I saw CitiPower trucks in my area (Warrnmbool Vic) this afternoon. Look like they are going to have another attempt in my area – Well I have told the to “p……off” twice now and I will tell them the same thing again and again and again. I WILL NOT HAVE A SMART METER INSTALLED AT MY HOME and that’s that!!!!!!
      I am sick to death of looking over my shoulder all the time. WE WILL WIN IN VICTORIA…………..WHEN I DON’T KNOW……………BUT NONE OF US WILL BE ‘CONNED’ INTO HAVING A DUMB SMART METER INSTALLED. OUR BOXES ARE LOCKED AND OUR SIGNS DISPLAYED AND THE GOVERNMENT CAN GO TO HELL……………………NEVER NEVER let anyone install one to your home.Cheers..Pam 🙂

    • 1vimana1 says:

      Hi Don,
      Great news for Tasmania, especially for Aurora and Transcend. All of us in Australia, Victoria and other states of Aus.can do, is to keep our Electric meter boxes firmly locked with an Industrial Padlock and for those of us who are retired, unlock the Meter box when the Meter reader man calls, then repadlock it when he has taken his readings as I and now thousands of us here in Victoria now do. If you cannot be home then you have the option of putting a perspex window in your Electric Meter Box for the Meter Reader Man to get his readings without unlocking the box. Another option which I also do is to take your own Meter readings a day or two ahead of the due date and on the day and up to two days after and record them on paper and affix these readings to your Anti-Trespass Sign on the Meter Box Cover. Please keep your anti trespass signs on your Electric meter boxes at all times and your front fences as Legal Back-Up.

      Richard L.

      • Vera Mills says:

        Richard, I have had a liftable flap installed on my locked meter box. It is made by Clipsal and is very easy to install. Since my meter is digital and needs to be read by a probe by the meterman, it is easily accessible. The part number is 223H and it is called a weatherproof Enclosure. Please contact me on veramills@msn.com if you wish to see a picture of it.
        The meterman read it recently and it saves me having an estimate, which a lot of other people with locked meter boxes have to deal with. 🙂

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