SMART meter rebels have accused power companies of dirty tricks and disconnection threats as the statewide rollout continues.
Anti-smart meter campaigner Sonja Rutherford said tearful customers were reporting “bullying” and “stalking” tactics.
One was allegedly told she “would have to get a generator” if she refused installation, while an elderly pensioner claimed an installer lay in wait outside her home until she went shopping.
Thousands of householders are resisting the rollout despite a December 31 deadline.
Some have padlocked and covered meters to try to thwart the government program.
A standard notice sent by distributor Jemena ahead of all installations states: “If you deny access to your property, Jemena may, in accordance with the Electricity Distribution Code, disconnect your supply as a last resort until access to exchange and test the meter is provided.”
United Energy’s frequently asked questions correspondence notes “Failure to replace meters may ultimately result in the disconnection of your electricity supply”.
Both said no customers had been directly threatened with disconnection.
They discussed concerns, and would continue “to work with the Government to determine an agreed approach for customers who refuse the meter exchange”.
Power companies insist they have the legal right to cut off electricity if access is repeatedly denied.
To date no customers have been disconnected.
The potential for the extreme action emerged in late 2011 after a decision to press ahead with the former Labor government’s rollout.
Opponents dispute that they can be forced to comply.
Energy Minister Nicholas Kotsiras said distributors had to engage with concerned customers.
“I would be very disappointed if a disconnection took place simply because a distributor was not prepared to work with the customer to explain the rollout of smart meters,” Mr Kotsiras said.
Most protesters voice concerns about loss of democratic rights, privacy breaches or sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation.