Victorian Government looks at ‘double dipping’

The [Victorian] government has signalled its intentions to charge consumers refusing smart meters extra for the privilege of retaining their existing meter. Industry sources predict this will be $120 to $150 per annum. Isn’t this double dipping? We all have been paying for smart meters since the beginning of 2010, whether or not we have one. The Auditor-General’s 2009 report slammed Victoria’s smart meter rollout. Nothing much has changed. Why should consumers be punished for the government’s (past and present) and the power distributors’ poor decisions? We were never consulted. In the meantime, thanks to the special status which Victoria’s privatised power distributors enjoy, it’s the customer who always pays.

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49 Responses to Victorian Government looks at ‘double dipping’

  1. Paul says:

    So what exactly is this $120 – $150 for. We have already paid for a smart meter, which we neither have nor want and we already pay a standing charge for reading the existing analogue meter.
    Is this a fine for wanting to protect our rights, civil liberties, health and privacy? Well, I will not pay!!!! If ‘they’ can charge me, then I can charge them for 1. entering my property 2. rent on the space they have taken up by their meters 3. the health effects on my family, etc, etc.

    • Jasmine says:

      I will not pay either, they owe me for disrupting my family’s life. They owe me for the threats, intimidation and lies they tell. Unfortunately all the money in the world can’t compensate for the trauma people have suffered.

      • Eric says:

        Their deeds and conduct are nothing but the worst of all criminality which they think they can get away with because the charade of “corporate appearance”.

        Many individuals need to be punished severely.

  2. Linda Nemeth says:

    Yet another example off politicians forgetting that they report to the people not the other way around perhaps the independents and the greens will get some serious voting numbers in this years election. The Libs and the Labour Party have well and truly shot themselves in the foot or should it be feet?

    • Linda you need to realize that the Greens are just as keen on smart meters as Libs and Labor, so no point voting for them. The DLP appears to be the only party in Victoria that is opposed to these meters.

    • Paul says:

      Sorry Linda, but the Greens are all for smart meters. I wouldn’t even give them a preference vote. I made this clear to them at the last (Federal) election.

      • Happy Dissenter says:

        Yes Best Endeavours, Senator John Madigan, representative for Victoria in Canberra, loathes everything to do with smart meters. I know, because I email him with the latest info all the time from this site . 😉 He doesn’t mind chatting with his cousin regularly.

        • If a new party eventuates (re SSMA blog) Happy Dissenter, then it would seem to make good sense to preference the DLP as they seem to be the only existing party in VIC who care about the health of Victorians. Glad to hear you keep in regular contact with your cousin.

  3. Solargen says:

    At the Public Event (27 Nov 2013) at RMIT University in Melbourne where “professors” presenting the topics related to Mobile phone towers and Smart Meter towers, PUBLICLY CONFIRMED THAT “MANDATORY” ROLL OUT OF THE SMART METERS IN STATE OF VICTORIA IS AN EXPERIMENT!!! INDEED IT IS. We are getting radiated EVERYWHERE we go.
    The smart meters are installed:
    According to scientific studies in Switzerland, Canada, etc..(( even at 10µW/m2 (only 0.06 V/m average) many people are becoming ill.
    I was getting fuel at the United Petrol Station – the Electrosmog Meter reading was about 780µW/m² everywhere, the meter reading inside the shop was almost 4000 µW/m².
    People work in such a dangerous environment, without realising it, and the customers get radiated constantly while they pay … I rest my case…
    I got to Safeway supermarket – VERY PAINFUL PHYSICAL EXPERIENCE FOR ME – (I am EHS sufferer). I spent less than 5 min there and I was burning inside.
    When I got to the register to pay, I asked the lady who was serving me (she is in her late 50s): You have Smart meter here, don’t you? She answered: No, we don’t. I said – Yes, you do – I CAN FEEL IT. At that comment she looked at her counterparts and asked them: Do we sell Smart Meters here? Ignorance Beyond belief!!!
    The other day I went to Brighton Beach to get some relief – what a STUPID IDEA – The reading on the beach was close to 1000 µW/m². Even walk towards the beach – North road – proved to be a PAINFUL experience – the reading on the street was between 700 and 1000 µW/m²
    Prof Wood from Swinburne University, Prof Stephen Solomon from ARPANSA should be extremely proud of themselves, as the “EXPERIMENT” SEEMS TO WORK – more and more people are getting sick and will die soon.

    • Eric says:

      Four days of 40 degree coming up. Last year on a similarly hot day I spent the whole evening in the water at Wiliamstown beach. After I got out of the water I decided to take an RF reading. I was shocked. I can’t remember the actual number but it was quite a significant number of mW/m2 (milliwatt/m2) (in microwatt/m2 a ballpark figure was 5000 – 10,000 µW/m2)

      You’d think on a hot day you could escape the heat and also be able to get away from smart meters by spending time in the water at the beach but it would seem that mobile phone towers are there to radiate us in those few places where smart meters don’t.

      I have had to cease dining at my favorite Sri Lankan restaurant because when I went for a meal one evening I discovered that the analog meter had been changed over to a smart meter. It is only a small restaurant and the meter box is on the wall. We were forced to change from eating in to ordering take away and I refuse to dine there again. I was good friends with the proprietor. As we left the restaurant, a Sri Lankan gentleman was sitting at the table besdie the meter box with his head just six inches below the meter box eating his meal totally oblivious to the danger he was being subjected to being spiked in the head with regular pulsing from the device at it’s full power.

    • Anonymous says:

      I got a RF reading that went off the scale when I stopped at the intersection of South Road and Hampton Street :
      Imagine what the people in that building are being bombarded with, if I am getting readings off the scale at this distance.
      And the poor souls living / working / visting there (and even nearby) aren’t even aware 😦

      • Eric says:

        Milleara Shopping Mall Avondale Heights just outside the Commonwealth Bank branch are mobile phone transmitters coming out of the shopping centre sign which are colored black to camoflauge into the top part of the sign. The girls inside that branch of the bank (Milleara Mall CBA) are being hit with up to 10 milliWatt/m2 of microwave radiation all day long. Little do they know the potential harm to their health and yet that centre manager is quite happy to collect his rent money for BOTH sets of mobile towers that he has allowed the telcos to have installed on his centre premises. I think the Bank should sue the centre manager.

  4. Citizen for Democracy says:

    It’s called EXTORTION.

  5. Frances (Australia) says:

    Maintaining my existing Meter? What does that mean? I have never had any maintenance on my electricity meter. Are they speaking about sending a meter reader? I haven’t heard or seen one of those in a very long time, I suspect they just ‘average’ my electricity use anyway. I sit at my computer opposite the wall my electricity meter is on.

  6. Nicholas marjolin. says:

    A friend of ours had,wait for it,a smart meter installed in tandem with his analogue meter,which was left in situ by the very experienced meter installer.Sadly it took him over a year of weekly telephone calls to his energy company to explain what his problem is and in return he was duly told that he is paying the right bills for his energy consumption.
    He also explained that the lunatic meter installer had left the analogue meter too and did not get anywhere with this.In effect he was paying twice for the same amount of electricity he was using.Giving the information on his address and name did not do anything to those he was so desperately trying to get some commonsense into.In the end he contacted the ombudsman and after several weeks the analogue meter was removed.I forgot to ask him if he had his money refunded.This is what important and efficient power companies get up to.I believe he was paying his power bills by direct debit.

  7. Dan says:

    This is Extortion. Under the Common Law, Extortion is a misdemeanor consisting of an unlawful taking of money by a government officer. Such an action must be legally challenged.

  8. CentralVicBloke says:

    These so called “CONTRACTS” that we have to enter into, are fairly stinky. The advantage falls always to the energy company.
    I think there is scope to investigate these dodgy contracts.
    Why does my power cost more on January 1st?? What advantage is there for me to sign a contract, when during it’s course, I’m left poorer, & using less energy?

    Also, it might be time to charge an entry fee for reading, or rental fee for the meter box. Plus we can demand the Smart Meter payments back, dating to 2010, I believe?’s not just Liberal Govts that sell us out. Don’t get party political…these bastards are all the same. They all go to the same parties & restaurants. They are all rich leaches. Some of the richest are in the Labor party!

    I’m looking at off-grid very soon!

    • Miriam. says:

      Firstly – unfortunately you are confusing wholesale & retail contracts. I agree with your sentiments.
      There certainly IS scope to investigate the rollout under Contract Law as the deemed wholesale supply contract/s state the company must enter into good faith negotiations with the consumer!
      Re off grid – do not be fooled that this is better off as from an EMR (due to the inverter) aspect it is not, unless you have a large property — to go truly off grid costs around $30+k. If you just want solar then you are not off grid & will be required to use a smart meter to monitor what power you feed back to the grid.
      All political parties are “run” by the corporations who donate to them.

    • Cedar Wilde says:

      “Some of the richest are in the Labour part” And many of the richest are in the Liberal party! I thought you said we shouldn’t get political and then you revealed your bias by your last comment. I think we SHOULD leave politics out of it because politicians will do what is most expedient for making profits (and usually for getting themselves back into power. Ambition and money as usual!

  9. Happy Dissenter says:

    Interestingly, I see Nicholas Kotsiras is throwing in the towel and not contesting his seat in the next election. Dr Napthine is said to have commended his colleague with the “politically challenging” rollout of smart meters. Huh???? Sounds like a cop-out to me. Who else is going to boycott this extra tax?

  10. June Haigh says:

    Are we living in a Democracy or a Dictatorship? Seems to me we are becoming more like a Dictatorship all the time, unless you are big business of course. They can just about do as they please.

  11. Paul says:

    The Victorian government/power companies doubling dipping? Surely not! They wouldn’t do that to us would they?

  12. Anonymous says:

    No WONDER people are wanting to live overseas. It’s a disgrace that it has reached this already. We are forced to elect our government but then have no say often that WE THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA. ..Are Australia….AND YET have no say. If all Australians didn’t pay their bills, where would these companies be TODAY? ALL it would take is for Australians not to fill up their cars for 3 days, and then you will see the prices go down. IT’S ABOUT TIME WE ALL GOT OUR OWN GENERATORS.

  13. Chris says:

    I think it will not be legal to do this, especially as we are already being charged for a smart meter on our bills. They most likely (if challenged in court) would have to take off the smart meter charges first. It would get very messy.

    Personally I think this was just another threat to the public to not challenge their installation. It put the “fear of God” in many that challenging would end up making things even more expensive for them in the long run and I’m sure many gave in as well once this threat was released to the media.

    Personally, even if it does turn out to be true, $10 bucks a month is just fine with me to keep my family healthy and safe.

    • John M says:

      @Chris. “Personally, even if it does turn out to be true, $10 bucks a month is just fine with me to keep my family healthy and safe.”

      I’m sure shop keepers once visited by the Mafia thought the same thing when the thugs visited. It’s extortion money and shouldn’t be paid on principal alone, and to do so undermines everyone else still taking a hard stand against it no matter what. We wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for the majority having caved in to various forms of bullying, intimidation, threats, lies, etc etc. This is just another method/tactic to pick off a few more people into complying. It’s money they’re not entitled to have and I won’t be paying it.

    • justice says:

      Yes I totally agree with you Chris, it is good news to me, however what about the people who had smart meters forced on them, is this not double standards?

    • Eric says:

      It can really backfire on them because the people who were coerced to accept a smart meter against their will can utilise this act of extortion as leverage that enables them as a group to really put the pressure on big time to have their forced meters removed.

      • Freedom Rules says:

        That’s Right. It is happening now in the USA – people demanding their smart meters be removed, and getting just that!

    • Hammer Mann says:

      No Chris,
      Stuff the lot of these Sods !, that is the five Electric Power Companies C.E.O’s and their gutless minions and the rotten selfish THIEVING Victorian Governments. Both of the so-called Victorian Liberal Party and the Labour Party, both are proving to be THIEVES.

  14. Leaty says:

    They have to get to us somehow. Looking at the ratio of who owns what recently, we have no control whatsoever, and certainly no say. Once again, everything is sold off and China is the main shareholder. Didn’t they supply the smart meters?

    • Miriam. says:

      The meters are manufactured in India.

    • Hammer Mann says:

      No Leaty,
      Not on your life. Just padlock your Electric Meter Box as some 20,000 of us and still growing in numbers have done, and only then get up your Lawful $167,000, Dollar Anti Trespass Signs. Then do as I did and send a blunt and polite and strong letter of refusal to allow a dopy and all life and health wrecking dopy Electric Microwave A.M.I broadcasting and receiving and far from Smart Meter on your privately owned or small business home or property.

      I also told these stupid B@$***DS that I’d SUE them under Broadie’s Law. That would get the lot of these Stinking B@$t@RDS locked up in Gaol for up to ten, that’s right, up to (10) years in Gaol. I have not heard a dicky-bird or received a letter of reply from these I allege to be SCUM and SERVANTS OF SATAN since I sent off these registered letterser and the A.C.C.C. Notice of Fine for Ten Million dollars to the C.E.O Mr Shane Breheny of Powercor or Mrs Janet Hogarty or that rude Nasty Pasty Tara or dopy and rude A.M.I slimy male servant of Powercor’s. These people are I allege all Leeches and I also allege Thieves or your already Cash Strapped Pockets and don’t give a stuff for your Health and Welfare.

  15. MovingEntity says:

    Extra fee for what? The article isn’t very informative. I guess it’s for meter reading, but no matter if you own a AMI (Smart Meter) or an Analogue one, there is a set yearly read expectation of Power Distributors anyway. If people elect to have guestimates and a reconcile on the mandatory yearly read, than all should be fine. There’s also the ability to add devices to read the usage tally and have that relayed to Power Distributors saving Meter Readers from visits.

    The extra fee threat would be illegal if implemented, if customers are coming from the position of owning their meters, as it would breach competition laws.

    The State Government Minister is clearly showing ‘foe’ mentality to Victorians.

    • Miriam. says:

      Customers do not own the meters – and if you do buy one & change it over, they can legally have you charged with interference of their equipment unfortunately.

      • Hammer Mann says:

        That is only what they say they can do. The majority of Smart Meter Installers are not properly trained “A” grade Electricians, but Lines men at best. I’d trust a properly trained 4 year solidly trained Victorian apprentice and now Victorian ” A” grade Electrician any day than some bod who’d only had a 2 to 3 weeks training.

        These C.E.O’s of the five Electric Power Companies are all a bunch of bullies and it is NOT THE LAW one has to have a dopy and now proving to be in more and more cases far from Smart Meter Incendiary Meter forced on one. It is only a Mandate from the Victorian Government upon the five Electric Power Companies who have been instructed by the Victorian Government ” TO USE THEIR BEST ENDEAVOURS TO TRY TO GET their Electricity Customers to accept a M/Wave and actually far from Smart Meter/s. Bullying is not allowed at any time or you should SUE them.

        Unlike the Safe and Passive Analog Electric Meters which were Lawfully tested and approved as SAFE, these dopy so-called Smart Meters have never been tested for SAFETY. So if you have any sense at all do as we 20,000 and more of us have done and Padlock your Electric Meter Box and only then put up your $167,000 Dollar Lawful Anti Trespass Signs from the Australian Constitution Act. (1900 – 1901) and still currently THE LAW.

    • Eric says:

      We should really oppose this on principle, it’s not about the money. We are not breaking the law by refusing their stinking smart meter. Our service hasn’t changed so why should we pay more for same service we are receiving. This is nothing other than extortion money for them to not transmit radiation through our homes, from our homes. Those who have chosen to be irradiated and irradiate us, their neighbors, it’s they who have been deceived into changing their service through tacit acceptance. Perhaps the Power Companies can try charging them for the whole smart meter costs. I would love to see the backlash to the power companies if they did that. Every single action of their behaviour has been nothing but illegality. Even the Essential Services Commission has a document that tells us all about implied consent vs informed consent.

      Check this out

      Click to access electricity_guide10.pdf

      4.1 Entering into a contract
      The explicit informed consent of a customer is required………………….

      Also the following helps us make sense why the Power Companies have been harassing customers over the phone. They need their customer’s consent (verbally will do) and I’ll be willing to bet that those calls are all RECORDED as there is a requirement for them to keep a record of that consent.

      6.1 Explicit informed consent must be verifiable and auditable
      6.1.1 A retailer must keep a record of any explicit informed consent given by a customer and retain that record for at least as long as the retailer has any related contract with the customer.
      6.1.2 If the explicit informed consent is given verbally, the record must be kept in writing or in A RECORDING MADE BY A LISTENING DEVICE.

      Also please read sections
      5.2 Explicit consent
      5.3 Consent must be informed

      Here is the content of those sections
      5.2 Explicit consent
      5.2.1 A customer’s explicit informed consent is consent given:
      · in writing signed by the customer;
      · by electronic communication signed by the customer11; or
      · verbally.
      5.2.2 Despite clause 5.2.1, a customer’s explicit informed consent in the circumstances contemplated by clause 4.2 must be given either in writing signed by the customer or by electronic communication signed by the customer. It is not sufficient that consent is given verbally.
      5.3 Consent must be informed
      In order for a person to be considered to have consented to something, that person must know what that consent applies to. The Commission will assume the requisite
      knowledge in relation to a consent if the circumstances are such to suggest that the consent was informed. In this regard, the chances of a customer’s consent to something being considered to have been informed are increased the more clear it is that the customer would have been aware, when providing consent, what that consent applied to. For example, in most circumstances a customer’s consent would be considered to have been informed if:
      (a) the relevant retailer has fully and adequately disclosed all matters relevant to the
      consent to the customer including each specific purpose or use of the consent;
      (b) those matters are disclosed clearly and in plain English.

      I’m sure all these principles are taken into account by Distributors when going about to engage customers to solicit for their consent to the installation. So be careful what you say over the phone. Best don’t engage with fictitious authority.
      As far as full disclosure is concerned, clearly there has been a complete lack of disclosure concerning smart meters despite the noises that the power companies make otherwise.
      How can any consent be considered valid to something that hasn’t been fully disclosed. Illegality. Illegality. Illegality.

      They will be pushing uphill to get their extortion fee through and we will make sure of that if and when the time comes.

      Minister Nicholas Kotsiras has already jumped ship.

      Is he prepared to finally speak to us and address our concerns sometime before he goes ????????????

  16. John Wilson says:

    The public has been paying double and more charges ever since Kennett government privatised, I believe illegally, public utilities. No company will invest in them unless there is a profit. They are split into subsidies or smaller companies e.g. distributor and retailer, each making profits either directly from the customer or from hand-outs from the government. As I refused to accept smart meters I was advised these companies will add a further charge for having to continue to employ analogue meter readers. My response was that I am already paying as it is built into the charges I am paying. I am also paying for the cost and installation for the smart meters and believe I should be refunded that money. Any other private company cannot expect to go to its customers to keep paying for changes or new equipment/infrastructure. It is usually paid from the profits but this is not so here. Anything new is added to the profits already being made. Public utilities are a service and should not involve profits. Income should be cost neutral but include a component for further development and maintenance. This is not what is happening. The public is continually being milked several times for the same thing and added profits made from technology not wanted or requested by the public. The utilities should be returned to public ownership where they should never have been taken. The government is continuing to abrogate its responsibilities in most areas, especially social services where these are now in the hands of corporations called charities that deliver what they perceive what the public needs and not what the public wants, and the government continues with the sale of public assets. No wonder our cost of living has risen so rapidly in the past few years until it is reaching a stage when some can no longer afford the services.

    • Uwe says:

      I agree 100%, essential services shouldn’t make huge profits. This also means to me that these services did not belong in greedy corporation’s hands.
      In 1601 Queen Victoria had to admit in her golden speech that monopolies in the public sector are a very bad thing.
      Here we are 400 years later, not an inch smarter. Well, our politicians refuse to learn.
      Somehow they still try to sell the privatisation of essential services and public assets as a reasonable way to go.
      History teaches the opposite.

    • SM free zone says:

      Very well said, John – with you all the way!

    • Brenn says:

      Couldn’t agree more—thanks for this well written summary of our situation.

  17. Rik says:

    Just typical. We already own the meter. Then we pay for a smart meter if we have one or not. Now we have to pay again for the meter we paid for many years ago. Soon we will have a huge power bill and that’s before we get charged for any power usage.
    I wonder how much we are charged for nothing. They already take $150 for the smart meter, now another $150 for the old meter we already paid for, isn’t there another $150 for not wanting a smart meter? So thats $450 a year for something we already own.

    • Miriam. says:

      No – the consumer & or property owner does not own the meter – it is part of the infrastructure that the distributor owns.
      The property owner owns any meter box that exists, and the wiring from the meter in the building/s.

      • Anonymous says:

        Where specifically in legislation does it state that the meters are not owned by SEC (therefore us the public) and are owned by the distributor?
        We paid for smart meters, but we don’t own them?
        So effectively we’re buying a device we won’t own, giving it to them for free so it can be used to charge us?
        I don’t recall donating any of my money for a smart meter !

    • SM free zone says:

      Just don’t pay the b@stards!

      • ron says:

        The trouble is if you don’t pay then they will cut off your power full stop. Then if you want it reconnected, they will insist on you having a smart meter before reconnection. So they win anyway.

        • Hammer Mann says:

          That is silly talk of yours. Of course you have to pay for the electricity you or anyone of us uses, we had to under the old and sensible S.E.C before silly Geoffrey Kennett flogged it off to the Chinese and Singapore Consortiums. Even the S.E.C was not the magic GIFT FAIRY you see !

    • Hammer Mann says:

      Hi Rik,
      You are correct, These Electric Power Companies, that is four of the five of them are foreign owned and only one is Australian owned, they are all proving to be THIEVES I allege and have been ever since they got rid of the Victorian State Electricity Commission with that I allege to be Nasty Pasty Mr Geoffrey Kennett selling the V.S.E.C to China and Singapore for five bob.

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