Electricity giant SP AusNet has appeal to increase charges to consumers to cover the cost of smart meters dismissed | Herald Sun

AN electricity giant trying to slug Victorian customers tens of millions of dollars more for smart meters has had its legal bid for higher prices rebuffed.

The Australian Competition Tribunal has dismissed distributor SP AusNet’s appeal to increase charges over the next two years to cover communications technology costs.

The rejected $72.2 million cash grab follows criticism over the company’s choice of technology for the state’s controversial compulsory smart meter rollout.

Other networks are using a different and cheaper communications technology.

Australian Energy Regulator chairman Andrew Reeves said the tribunal ruling was a significant consumer win.

“It confirms the AER was correct in deciding that consumers should not be required to bear the cost of SP AusNet’s decision not to switch to a lower-cost technology,” AER chairman Andrew Reeves said.

An AER spokesman added: “Once its costs had increased significantly from what was initially expected, the business should have reviewed its choice of technology.

By not doing so, we felt that they had departed from the commercial standard that was expected”.

SP AusNet’s most common annual smart meter charge this year is $130.45.

The AER said the distributor had wanted to increase charges by about 32 per cent over two years, rather than an approved 14 per cent.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, SP AusNet’s general counsel and company secretary Susan Taylor said the company was disappointed with the decision and would “carefully review the implications … and determine whether it is appropriate to take any further action”.

Australian Competition Tribunal rulings can be appealed at the Federal Court.

karen.collier@news.com.au

via Electricity giant SP AusNet has appeal to increase charges to consumers to cover the cost of smart meters dismissed | Herald Sun.

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29 Responses to Electricity giant SP AusNet has appeal to increase charges to consumers to cover the cost of smart meters dismissed | Herald Sun

  1. Gail Jones says:

    I would suggest a BEDINI generator………free power……FREE. power is all around us, just capture it !

  2. Cuppa says:

    SP Ausnet previously sent me a letter (2nd letter) telling me they would be installing a Smart Meter between certain dates. I phoned them & informed them that I did not wish for this to occur, & that their contractor’s journey out to our place (remote bush location) would be wasted. No one came during the period referred to in the letter. This week I received another letter, similar to before but with new dates on. I’m stuffed if I’m going to phone them to repeat myself. They can waste their journey out here to find my locked meter box with it’s perspex window & notice telling them not to install.

  3. Rik says:

    I’m wondering if I will get charged for one then that I dont have one?

  4. Gwen 's says:

    This morning I have rang a lawyer re SMART METERS..as every one is being told that if they can’t install a SMART METER their power WILL BE CUT OFF..Was then told by the lawyer to ring the Ommdusman…for Energy & Water.. Will have the power cut off if we don’t let them put IT on.We have 2 freezers & a Fridge-freezer & cannot afford to loose food…Don’t know what else to do !!!!????Apparently anyone is allowed to “BLACKMAIL” anyone.!!!!????It asll stinks…WHO DO WE VOTE FOR TO STOP ALL THIS??????& return to normal…..

    • Ashley says:

      Hi Gwen, my experience is look out for who both the major political parties put last on their cards and that will invariably be a party that IS about nurturing a prosperous, healthy, moral and good to live in society, protective of our human rights.

      • Jason says:

        Sound procedure! Somebody or other important once said you can judge a man’s character most accurately by finding out who his enemies are. (or words to that effect). Thinking of historic examples clearly validates the sentiment.

    • Eric says:

      Not one disconnection yet Gwen. Think…..what good reason would they have to choose you to be the first ? If they want a showdown, let’s give them a showdown…all of us together and lets see who is more powerful…us or them.

  5. James says:

    I see folks are getting a little annoyed with SPAusnet and their cohorts.
    Just a gentle reminder folks, It was the state government that passed the AMI legislation.
    These guys are just doing what every “private” business likes to do, extract maximum returns by any means possible
    The only protection you have, the legislation does not include you. To the best of my knowledge, I DO NOT CONsent to SPAusnet or other in their request for access to your property to carry out the installation to form a legally binding CONtract .
    Private Property – No CONSent = trespassing.

    • Miriam. says:

      it was the previous ALP government who entered into agreement with Rudd Governemnt (incarnation 1) to have Victorians “mandated” to have Wireless Smart Meters.
      It is a flow on from the WHO’s policies to deal with climate change. EU countries have also been directed – by the EU governing body – to mandate such meters.

      • Jason says:

        ‘Mandates’ have no authority UNLESS they’re supported by legislation or regulation made under an Act of Parliament. I’m not aware of any such legislation. (Which doesn’t it may not exist.)

    • Jason says:

      ….but you MUST put up sufficient signage, otherwise it’s NOT trespassing. Entry is acceptable for those with “lawful excuse or legitimate purpose”.
      Summary Offences Act 1966, Section 9(e)

  6. Jay says:

    I saw something in the local paper about Origin/Powercor needing to vet intended solar installations and was concerned about that. If I choose to go off grid then what I do is none of their *&^%$$% business.

    • Miriam. says:

      They are only vetting grid connected ones I would think. But I would not be surprised if they tried to say they had a right to do so for disconnected ones (which they do not).

    • Jason says:

      True. But keep in mind that after a similar shitfight (with the ETU ~ which was losing work) about power, the law now requires that any post-inverter electricity (240AC) must have fixed wiring installed by a qualified electrician.
      There’s no way they can enforce that (and in any case there are alternative ways of doing that), but be aware (BECAUSE of that law) you may invalidate your home insurance.

      But keep in mind that 99.99% of electrical fires are caused by installation of circuits by ‘qualified electricians’!! Any do-it-yourselfer is much more careful, and usually ‘overbuilds’.
      There’s not much to it, but gaining some basic learning in the field is, I think, essential.
      dabbbles@gmail.com if you want to discuss the issue.

  7. Frances Makarova says:

    SP Ausnet was clearly desiring to steal even more from the public than they already have. I am so glad that I refused to allow them access to my property. I was even threatened over the phone, by a young male employee of SP Ausnet that they would trespass on my property to install a so called Smart Meter without my permission.

    • frontad84 says:

      Regarding the representatives (mouthpieces) of Power Companies who continually phone and send Emails etc, in their attempts to try and convince you that Smart Meters are safe.
      I find it hard to understand how these individuals can sleep easily at night, knowing they are spending their days being paid to tell us a whole bundle of untruths.

      In my book what they are really doing in their nicely courteous but oily manner is nothing less than bullying and harassment, for they obviously have no Technical knowledge whatsoever to support any of the information they are spouting to us.

      All these parrots know is what they are told to say and just by carrying this out shows to me they are a measly bunch who are very weak or devoid of any principles or conscience and would do or say anything for money.

      If they had any real decency or conscience at all they would be telling their Power Company Bosses to do their own dirty work, then go and seek honest employment elsewhere.

      The local Power Company Gropers
      Plus the overseas interlopers
      Brainwash their staff
      To quote bullshit and chaff
      Treating us, like a bunch of no hopers

      To the Staff of Power Companies who
      Phone and Email to harass you
      Stop quoting their lies
      And open your eyes
      To what you’ve been brainwashed into

      Powercor the Meterbox is mine
      Bought and paid with the house at the time
      What’s locked in it today
      I’m determined will stay
      Stick your Smart Meter where the sun does’nt shine.

    • Jason says:

      hm. Some other wanna-be gangster tied the same threat on me on a different issue. So very calmly I suggested the intruder should be sure to wear a bullet-proof vest. I heard the phone land on the floor just before the connection was cut.

  8. Rob Guy says:

    The fields of commerce are littered with the corpses of merchants who have mistreated their customers, which explains why distributors try to deflect blame towards the Victorian government while not mentioning their intense lobbying for a compulsory smart meter program. The pity is that they could have increased their profits by introducing alternative programs. (See my comment re LED street lighting in the recent post “Germany rejects EU…………”

    • Jason says:

      These rrrsoles don’t need to please their customers; they have a monopoly handed them by the politicians y’all elected and pay taxes to support. STOP IT!!

  9. Pete Turner says:

    Greedy Swines

  10. Michael Bland says:

    About time someone stood up to them an put them in their place !!!

  11. dom says:

    a good win but what about all the other distributors that have jacked up the daily supply charge to cover the cost for this rubbish technology we didnt need & do not want & on another note do you see supermarkets charging us to use their weighing equipment when we buy fruit veg & deli goods or do you see fuel stations slug us with a charge for the use of the Bowser Absolutely NOT ! so why should we be charged for a power meter & another thing by them charging us for the meter that means we own them & have every right to refuse them on our properties other than to read the meter Remember everyone Protect your old analog meter

    • Gwen 's says:

      THEY will cut the POWER OFF if we refuse….WHAT THEN? We have tried…notices ,ect, taken up a lot of time & still can’t win

      • Anonymous says:

        No they won’t because they are not allowed to, make sure bills are always paid and they can’t cut your power off.

      • Cedar Wilde says:

        Don’t give up! Who says we can’t win? (apart from the lying power companies. Do you work for them?)

      • Jason says:

        Put up physical barriers Gwen ~ eg a lock on the gate ~ and stop worrying about the idiots. I have TWO gates they can’t get over or around (nothing special ~ just stuff I had lying around) each locked.
        Anybody who wants to talk to me has to come to the back door, and my dogs know how to distinguish between genuine people and rrrsoles.
        The only thing we don’t have an alternative about is dying; everything else comes with options.
        dabbbles@gmail.com if you want info/photos.

  12. Terry says:

    The AER could be the first chink in the power generators armour. All we need now is retrospectivity on some of their other charges like cost of dual read meters for solar installs and the upfront charge of $250 to be told whether or not you can actually install solar in some areas.
    The latest gambit by power generators (mostly overseas owned) is to have a surcharge in excess of $200 placed on all consumers who have installed solar, why? because they claim they are losing profits due to a downturn in grid power usage. Wouldn’t have anything to do with massive charges for power, would it??

    • Jason says:

      DISCONNECT! The other thing that has come down dramatically (and is continuing to do so) is the price of solar-systems. With a bit of usage-prioritising my 2kw grid-connect would be MORE than ample to run my house. (already a couple of extra panels run my computer or freezer ~ or both on a good day) The 2kw system produces a little more than an average year-round 7kwh per day. Aforementioned prioritising means I use an average of about 2.5 kwh per day. (no kids to provide for)
      The moment that Origin stops sending ME money I’ll disconnect and rejig the system to stand alone. (simple to do.)
      At current prices you can set up such a 2kw system for well under $5k if you shop around, and that’s getting cheaper all the time, though a bit of care’s needed to select the best components. But already the ‘service-to-property’ charge’ would pay for the battery-bank over 4 or 5 years. (and less in due course: the price ~ and efficiency ~ of batteries is rapidly improving, while the assorted ‘fees and charges’ are increasing exponentially.)

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