GOVERNMENTS are deep in the thrall of the power lobby.
Despite the backlash against smart meters in Victoria – the only state where they have been rolled out – and despite the spectre of even higher electricity bills as a result of their implementation, the federal government seems intent on rolling out smart meters across the nation.
The device is a boon for industry. The customer foots the cost of the smart meter and the company gets state-of-the-art access to each new household.
There is no demonstrable economic case for the smart meter as yet, and no meaningful community consultation process. What is the rush to implement this device?
Is it merely because the ”gold-plating” party is over and the power companies urgently need to recoup their investment on the grid to keep the income rising?
If the response to Monday’s story in this newspaper on smart meters is any guide – and it was a deluge – smart meters are more likely to lift energy bills then lower them.
Not every consumer who uses one is critical of the device. Those who watch their consumption like a hawk may win some savings. For the overwhelming majority though, their bills rose.
Don’t take our word for it. Victoria’s Auditor-General has been scathing about smart meters. A report from 2009 that did not get much airplay found that a consequence of the roll-out of smart meters might lead to a ”transfer of economic benefits from consumers to industry”.
Since then, the cost of the roll-out has ballooned from estimates of $800 million to $2.3 billion and rising.
”There is little evidence to show that when the project was designed, the resultant benefits and costs were adequately considered,” says the report.
Read more via Power plays not such a clever move for households.