The Great Meter Con – Recent letters in The Age

Get smart
David Lamb’s (Letters, 27/3) and David Laird’s (31/3) smart meter problems are small beer. Since my smart meter was installed, my supplier has billed all my electricity at the peak rate despite most of it being used in off-peak hours (for water heating on a dedicated circuit). Previously, this was billed at off-peak rates. Incompetence or a scam? Presumably tens of thousands of others are also affected – many unknowingly.
Brewis Atkinson, Nunawading


Get with the times
I can add to David Lamb’s concerns about smart meters (Letters, 27/3). Since its installation nearly two years ago my smart meter has registered readings for off peak and peak usage, as well as calculating my solar exports to the grid.
However, it has not been smart enough to match Victorian summer time with the time shown on the meter clock. Real Victorian time has been one hour ahead of meter time, which creates problems for anyone trying to use power at off-peak times. Energy Australia customer relations staff, when they eventually understood my complaint, simply suggest that it ”balances out”. In other words, stop stirring the pot. ”Just another example of corporate con”, to quote David Lamb?
David Laird, Forest Hill


The great meter con
I have two smart meters at my home. One is for peak electricity supply and the other is for off-peak electricity. In the two years since they were installed, the only benefit I can see is that the electricity retailer saves money by not having to send someone to check my use.
I thought the purpose of smart meters was to enable energy providers to charge a high use rate at times of high energy demand and a lower rate at times when surplus energy was available. Silly me. Just another example of corporate con.
David Lamb, Kew East


This entry was posted in Smart Meter and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Great Meter Con – Recent letters in The Age

  1. Roger Adams says:

    The government needs to put laws into place to regulate the powers that EnergyAustralia has in relation to the customer. Electricity is a primary resource and an essential service. EnergyAustralia cannot be allowed to dictate their terms and conditions on the consumer.

    EnergyAustralia is a Hong Kong owned company and needs to learn that in Australia we do not bully and harass customers.

    There need to be laws put into place about what EnergyAustralia can and can’t do. Some of these laws should be 1.Do not bully the consumer. 2. The customer deserves to be heard. 3. Do not trespass on customers land. 4. The customer should never be forced to accept anything they don’t want 5. Do not continually keep raising the cost of a product over a short period. 6. Do not threaten the customer if they don’t want to accept a new product you have to offer. 7. Do not take the tax payers money to build your own business up for self profit, 8. Be kind and courteous to your customer at all times.

    Can anyone add to these? I am sure I have missed another dozen at least.

    I don’t care how they do things over in their own country but they are now working for Australian people and should respect and abide by common and simple ways of our life here, and not dictate their greedy ways to us.

    • Gwen says:

      Good points Roger. Pay your Australian taxes would be another. You are definitely right that foreign owned businesses need to have strict guidelines to operate under in our country. RESPECT should be top of the list.

    • ingrid says:

      Good one Roger.
      I’m guessing most of what you say is covered by consumer law.
      it’s a hassle, but if you have evidence of all this, send it to the ombudsman for their files at least.
      The more people who tell the ombudsman the better.

      9 – Print bills the customer can understand.
      10 – Make it clear what is off peak and what is peak.

  2. Gwen 's says:

    Today we had a fellow come to check on our Solar from EnviroLink Au. …we have 24 panels.checked out solar inverter & meter… have had the Solar..grid feeding since 2009…We DO have the SMART METER ON..was put on when one gets Solar put on & feeds into the grid he told us, but keep it locked as we are doing because they need to put an antenna on it..As they wouldn’t have 1 to fit it then they put their own SMART METER on so their Antenna can go on… Checked on our power bill & said we were doing very good..paying off the Panels/Solar set up..So do not want it to be touched..He also said that our power CAN NOT be cut off..We got him up here because of that .. & to go all solar….Just keep it all locked up, notices & all.. I showed him Sophia’s Story about her power being cut off..Was VERY surprised……SHOULD NOT BE…Keep Paying you power bill…We know when the meter reader is due..every 90 days & stop home that week…

  3. ken white says:

    Maybe Kim Jong-Un of North Korea has shares in smart meters. The tactics of the power companies are similar to his – what next : armed men in balaclavas?

    • Jason says:

      No probs. I’ve got a dobermann who wears a balaclava.
      …and a poodle who knows how to use a shotgun.

      Just stand up to the bastards!
      Incidentally, I found out this week via another matter that ordinary citizens can in fact file criminal charges/summons via the magistrates’ court.
      The paperwork is available on the Magistrates’ Court website.

  4. Merrilyn Whitecross says:

    I’ve read that the not-so-smart meters operate just as well when switched from maximum rate (used at installation) to minimum rate. As the damn things make me so dizzy I cannot live a normal life, can anyone tell me where to find someone who can turn it down?

    • ingrid says:

      If you don’t get e reply here, try posting your question in a different section where they talk about health, just an idea .
      Choose one from the blue headings on the right hand side.

  5. Gwen says:

    If the TPP(Trans Pacific Partnership) is signed by abbott, then a new political party won’t make a difference regarding smart meters. The businesses involved will be able to sue the government for millions/billions if their ‘program’ is hampered/stopped. This signing is set to take place this week. has a petition running at the moment against this and I suggest you have a look. Definition of filth, ‘Vile; nasty: a filthy traitor.’ sums up the actions of the government to the people of Australia.

    • Max says:

      So we are be told constantly that according to The Electricity Distribution Act that we have to allow access for the installation of a smart meter. No so, the is what the Act says:
      3.3.2 Provided official identification is produced by the distributor’s representatives on request, a customer must provide to the distributor’s representatives at all times convenient and unhindered access.
      (a) to the distributor’s equipment for any purposes associated with the supply, metering or billing of electricity
      If the power lines in your area are overhead, your service main will be an overhead cable connected to the service point, which is usually mounted on a fascia board.
      This is their supply point and they always have access to this.

      As for the metering, the definition of a meter according to Essential Services Commission,Victoria, April 2011
      means a device complying with this Code which measures and records the production or consumption of electrical energy. It does not state that the meter supplies electricity. In regards to billing, the meter reader would have to have access to the meter to read it, so you don’t receive an estimate.

      The definition of a smart meter is:
      Smart meter means an interval meter designed to transmit data to a remote locality that meets the functionality requirements for advanced metering infrastructure set out in any relevant order made under section 46D of the Electricity Act. Therefore a smart meter is a communication device as it transmits data..

      There is no mandate, this is misleading as you can only get a mandate from the people of Victoria, this has not happened. There is no law either. The legalities are on the distributor they were given an order to install smart meters, the customer is not obligated to accept a communication device that transmits data. You have to have consent.

      Corporations are prohibited from engaging in unconscionable conduct in relation to the provision of goods or services by virtue of Sections 20, 21 and 22, of the Act. Unconscionable conduct deals with transactions between dominant and weaker parties; it therefore overlaps with duress and undue influence. Unconscionable conduct is prohibited both in equity and, more recently, by statute.

      Absolute Nuisance means illegally interfering with another person’s enjoyment and using their property. Doing an unlawful wrong to a person when the wrong can be corrected by the wrong doer.

    • Max says:

      This is from Jemena’s customer charter, it is on their website.
      What are your obligations as a distribution
      To assist us in maintaining a safe distribution network, there are
      several customer responsibilities you need to be aware of when
      using our network.
      It is your responsibility to:

      Comply with the Electricity Distribution Code at all times.

      Use your best endeavour to remedy any non-compliance
      with the Electricity Distribution Code (this Charter is only a
      summary of the code).

      Ensure your electrical installation and any electrical
      equipment within your premises is maintained in a safe

      Provide reasonable protection against tampering of our
      equipment (metering etc.) located at your premises.

      Ensure that your actions or equipment do not adversely affect
      the reliability and quality of supply to other customers.

      Keep all vegetation, structures and vehicles at your premises
      well clear of power lines.

      Allow safe and unhindered access to your premises for us
      to read or maintain the meter and if needed, to connect and
      disconnect your electricity supply

  6. Pirate says:

    Ages ago when I first received a notice about smart meter installation I rang the information number.
    I rang with the expectation that the call would eventually end with me yelling at them and hanging up. However I spoke a very nice older lady (nice ploy by UE – would be like yelling at my mum) – anyway she told me that the meters wouldn’t be working properly at first and that I would be charged at peak rates 24/7/365 until the all the billing and other infrastructure were up and running properly.
    I politely told her that I would not be allowing a smart meter installation…..

    I can’t believe that this is still the case more than 2 years later….. pathetic.

  7. Heather says:

    It seems to me that Denis Napthine will appear at the opening of a book rather than attend to the needs and pleads of the people of Victoria.
    Even though I have been a Liberal voter I am ashamed to be represented by this buffoon of a man and aim not to waste my vote on this rabble again.
    If we were to be told of the bullying and harassment from the foreign owned power companies on stressed, ill and concerned individuals anywhere else, we would find it difficult to believe and yet we continue to be ignored by this government. The really scary thing is that the alternative is no better, so where do we go?

    • Sally-Ann Edwards says:

      Consider the new political party thats against smart meters – People Power victoria – No Smart Meters (info on right side of this page) and spread the word!

    • Eric says:

      Heather, buffoon is so accurate. There he is on the news each and every night having attended another function for that day looking just like Zig and Zag (either will do) with a stupid smirk on his face whilst Victorians are being absolutely tortured by this violation to their persons that is being inflicted by this Buffoon’s very government.

    • Max says:

      To Heather. It is hard to believe that in a country like Australia, people would be subjected to prolonged torture. The Definition of torture according to the Oxford Dictionary: The action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or in order to force them to do or say something. Their is an alternative now for many of us, People Power Victoria and what they stand for. We need to take our shackles off and be free.

  8. Anonymous says:

    since not having my smart meter installed I have not had to stress about paying my bill on time due to all the bills received are for 20 dollars leaving me to read the meter and work out the correct amount and just pay it before my next bill is due, just in case they get in to read it .

  9. Leaty says:

    Very nice gentleman called in today to ask about my meter. Could he install a new one. ” No thanks” said I and he said “ok”. Even though I have signs up he said he had to ask the question. He said rural people have been much nicer than suburbia.

    • Jason says:

      Perhaps because they tend not to get too stroppy with farm folks; them’s the one that keep shotguns laying around….. 😉

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s