South Australian electricity consumers likely to be offered new ‘smart’ power meters — but at a price

A GOVERNMENT discussion paper outlines plans to offer “smart” electricity meters across the state — but they could cost up to $500 per household.

Such meters have been rolled out in other states, but South Australia has delayed such a program because of an estimated state-wide cost of $1 billion.

The Energy Department has not yet decided who will pay for the meters, but experts say consumers will carry the cost because electricity assets had been privatised.

“Of course, the customer always pays,’’ said Uniting Communities electricity expert Mark Henley.

The State Government’s draft plan to offer smart meters to householders on a voluntary basis has been released for public comment. While it does not clearly state who will cover the cost of the meters, it provides an opt-out for customers who do not wish to pay.

It also outlines options to offset the “cost” to consumers.

Mr Henley said a compulsory rollout in Victoria cost $1000 for each meter, but falling costs meant experts now estimated the price to be between $300 and $400.

“The minimum cost would be about $250, but the other issue is retiring the old meters, and they are owned by SA Power Networks (formerly ETSA), and they would want to be paid out for the value of current meters which SAPN owns … up to another $250, depending on age of meter and SAPN valuation of existing meter cost.”

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said about 30,000 new or replacement electricity meters were installed each year.

Under the Government’s proposal, all new meters would be “smart-ready” unless the customer opted out.

A “smart-ready” meter is a step up from current technology and can be upgraded at a later time to operate as a “smart” meter by installing an electronic chip, similar to a SIM card in a mobile phone.

This enables the householder to take advantage of new products and services as they become available, such as monthly billing, online information and real-time data.

Mr Koutsantonis said the Government estimated a “smart-ready” meter would cost between $40 and $60 more than a regular meter.

“We want to give South Australians a choice, so under this proposal households can opt out and have a regular meter installed or have a smart-ready meter, yet choose not to take up the smart meter products and services,” he said.

“What we want to do is create a market for smart meters, which have the potential to save South Australians up to $200 a year on electricity bills when they select innovative products and services.”

South Australian Council of Social Service director Ross Womersley said there was no guarantee the cost of installation to householders would be matched by savings.

“SACOSS accepts that advanced metering offers a range of benefits, but is disappointed that the discussion paper does not provide any quantitative information in this regard,’’ he said.

“SACOSS is concerned that the costs of implementation have the potential to overwhelm the value of these benefits for the consumers of most interest to SACOSS.

“Asserting that a policy is ‘cost effective’ without demonstrating it to be so is not an approach that SACOSS prefers.’’

An Energy Department spokesman said the proposal “provides that all new and replacement meters for residential and small business customers will be smart-ready meters, unless a residential or small business … customer elects not to receive one’’.

Mr Womersley said if smart meter installation followed that of meters which had to be used for solar PV conversions, there would be a considerable cost to the consumer.

“SA Power Networks has been the monopoly provider of some 150,000 of these meters over recent years but SACOSS and others have observed that the price of meter replacement did not seem to reflect expected economies of scale and has only recently fallen to $314.60 from $440 for the majority of these installations,’’ he said.

“It is unclear if these meters really are ‘owned’ by customers despite having seemingly paid for them.”

MILES KEMP AND LAUREN NOVAK, THE ADVERTISER

Via:South Australian electricity consumers likely to be offered new ‘smart’ power meters — but at a price

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38 Responses to South Australian electricity consumers likely to be offered new ‘smart’ power meters — but at a price

  1. n.baird. says:

    cost of smart meter $17.50 now whole sale price $145.oo—- $175 2014 this is a massive rip off. bent politicians and private power companies .no principles gov.are supposed to look after utilities.in vict. smart meters are still manually read been out 6 months.plus. in s.a. you live in a socialist state being controlled by imbeciles .health effects are obvious.read why counties in U>S.A arebanning smart meters. the reccomended whole sale price of i unit smart mater 2006 $17.50 .plus the cost of installation. they take aprox 20 min to install. Irang smart meter re my ear problems.cost to have a check< on installed smart meter $300. this is to be paid by me.plus in vic.every house hold pays for the cost s:of all installations.on a useless sick :smart ;meter which is why in s.a. stand against,THESE IMMORAL ARSEHOLES.THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY RIGHT TO MAKE YOU PAY FOR A HEALTH HAZZARD WHICH DOES NOT IN ANY WAY MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER HEALTHIER;only socialist ,big brother. why do you pay the worldshighest power pricesin S"A" the biggest con. BENT POLITICIANS @BIG CORPORATES.@CONTROL. PIGS..

  2. Eric says:

    This is really good listening for anyone who has an interest in this stopsmartmeters forum. It’s ABC News Radio Background Briefing program broadcast today Sunday 27/4/14 entitled
    “The price of power”.

    The distribution companies make their money from their infrastructure ie. their poles and wires. They have spun a story about the supposed increasing demand for electricity. After they increased the capacity of the network, the reality was that the demand for electricity has actually gone down and is continuing to go down year on year. The Distribution companies are jacking up their bills more and more to recover costs from fewer customers using the grid. Solar energy is really sticking up them especially at peak consumption times. One comment was that they are going about things totally the wrong way because as they continue to jack up the prices beyond “energy poverty” level (10% of income spent on energy), their problems are only going to exacerbate themselves. It seems batteries for solar energy storage and hence complete off grid capability are going to become imminently affordable. So much more to grab hold of in this broadcast. Please listen.

    These five electricity distribution companies have caused so much pain and grief to so many people because of the issues that we read about on this website. As far as I am concerned, the death of these five Distribution Companies cannot come quickly enough. Please enjoy broadcast, the link is below.

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/

  3. Sharka says:

    Private companies should not be allowed to use tax payers money to develop their product and then on top of that force the people to have their product!

    Estimated cost of 1 Billion! that’s what they said to Victorians. But the cost kept rising and rising and rising to…. now over 2.4 Billion! And then they reasoned with the public saying – “well since it has cost so much… we cant stop now!”

    They are thoughtless and inconsiderate to the Australian people!

    They say that in SA Smart Meters are not mandatory…. However – – – that’s what they said in Victoria (at the start); and then once they spent 1 Billion dollars they said: “Oh no! Whoops…. now that we have invested 1 billion dollars, we cant just pull out – we will have to make it mandatory, because we have invested too much money into this.”

    Same lies, different state.

    State by state – country by country…. they want to put a smart meter on every house.

    Why?

    Pure self indulgence. They are greedy.

    Its NOT for MY benefit. Not for Your benefit, or the environment. Its a private company and its ALL about them and their profits! It’s actually shameful.

    SA watch out, don’t be fooled by the shiny new smart meters. Smart meters are not smart for the consumer.

    Electricity companies have just become super greedy and forceful and slowly they will creep to your front door (like mould).

    Their sales slogan should be “Smart Meters….your bills are about to double. $$$”

    …..because that’s what has happened in Victoria.

  4. Ada says:

    A message to South Australians, who have always been at the forefront of caring for the environment in which we live in:
    SMART METERS ARE THE OPPOSITE OF GREEN
    See article:
    http://www.emfanalysis.com/uploads/1/0/7/8/10781272/common_ground_article_april_2014.pdf

    • Eric says:

      Here is an interesting snippet from this article………….in reference to “the internet of things” where everything we have in our lives is intended to be connected to the internet…….

      Second, how do you think all of these things
      magically connect to the Internet? The answer
      is with pulsed digital microwave radiation that
      is already considered by the World Health
      Organization (WHO) to be a possible carcinogen.
      Many scientists say that with current
      scientific data, microwave radiation should be
      considered a probable carcinogen, with some
      even stating that it is a definite carcinogen.
      Furthermore, there is a wide body of independent
      scientific research (many thousands of
      studies) that shows that microwave radiation
      damages biology. Thus, if the technology companies
      of Silicon Valley get their way, we will
      be needlessly filling our homes, our children,
      and ourselves with what is a potent toxin according
      to science, while industry and government
      tells us it is safe. Does this remind you of
      tobacco, asbestos, and DDT?

  5. Citizen for Democracy says:

    Judging by the huge number of comments to this article (93), it looks like South Australians are a truly educated and well informed people. Power to them!
    Unfortunately, Victorians were duped by the lies of their government, which was complicit with the power companies, before they even knew what was happening or what a smart meter was. They will pay a huge cost for years to come.

  6. Brigitte Kerrutt says:

    This is what I received on 24.4.14 at 12:1.. I have nothing added or taken away – it is just the Subject line without any text.

    Regards, Brigitte

  7. Frank says:

    “but experts say consumers will carry the cost because electricity assets had been privatised.”
    Hello??? This is a contradiction in itself. If they’re privatised, they should be paying for this rubbish themselves. Private companies means contract law, and that means they need our consent. End of story…

    Frank

  8. john says:

    At least South Australia is discussing the issues about choice pricing, benefits, etc.. unlike Victoria which ignores Auditor General’s advice, gives no choice to consumers, doesn’t discuss or recognize that there are health concerns and problems.
    Democracy Victorian style: deals done behind closed doors to the benefit power companies and the like!

  9. Anonymous says:

    They know perfectly well that people will not be doing their laundry after 10 at night, so they aim to make a killing on electricity charges. Corruption and immorality are just a given in this system. They don’t care if they kill us, just so long as the bottom line looks good. I am not a religious person but I can’t help thinking of what Jesus had to say about the money lenders and their profiteering. The negligence and corruption of our times seems to be worse than it was then

  10. 1vimana1 says:

    There is no cost savings in having a so-called Smart Meter which is a Type 2B Carcinogen meter installed after the Safe and Passive Analog Electric meter has been coerced or more often Unlawfully stolen from anyone here in Victoria or South Australia or any other State of Australia.

    Microwave so-called Smart Meters are not SMART in any way at all, they are a GIGANTIC CONFIDENCE TRICK to rip ever more money off Australian and other countries’ Electricity Customers and poison their bodies with Microwave Radiation.

    There are now well over 250,000 of us Victorians and steadily mounting numbers who have securely padlocked our Electric Meter Boxes against this Confidence Trick. For many months now the British Government has stopped the Roll-Out of these now proving to be deadly machines and the same needs to happen here in Victoria Australia as well.

    We also have a number of shires in Melbourne whose Councils have banned the Microwave and far from Smart Meters. This has also happened in mounting numbers of Cases in America and Canada. These dopey machines are DEADLY to not only human LIFE but All Life which includes animals and delicate plant-life like creepers and trees which is close to these accursed and health wrecking and far from Smart Meters and the Microwave Sending and receiving radios on tall buildings and often in Church Spires and atop of high masts in towns and cities.

  11. Geri Johnson says:

    I am in the process of getting my daughters Smart Meters removed and relocated at the cost of thousands. She is chronically ill and this device has had a major impact on her condition, causing her pain levels to exacerbate, migraines and inability to sleep. She has had to move from her bedroom and is on the floor in her lounge. I urge anyone in South Australia particularly if they are susceptible to Electro magnetic frequency to do anything you can to NOT have this fitted. I just wish I had known. The electricity companies are refusing to acknowledge that the Smart Meters cause any health problems. We have unfortunately found out first hand that this is untrue.

    • Jason says:

      By all means rack up the bill…and then simply DON’T PAY!
      (Just be careful what you sign in the meantime….or how you sign it. If worse comes to worst they’re going to have any amount of trouble suing Donald Duck….the one with the scribbly siganture 😉 )

  12. EJ says:

    Yes, the customer does indeed always pay…with great financial loss, health issues and lack of privacy. This is one of the first honest quotes I have stumbled across.

  13. Merrilyn Whitecross says:

    Why wasn’t I given the chance to “opt out” of my Smart Meter like the South Australians can?
    I never wanted the dangerous thing and it has soooo affected my health.
    Give me a non-Smart meter too !

    • JohnC says:

      Simple! Because the previous and current Victorian Government/s were/are corrupt.

    • Jason says:

      Because you didn’t make it impossible for them to install the bloody thing. I HAVE done so (with two locked gates), and after a few attempts and a few smarmy phone-calls (and after I threatened legal action ) they put me on their “definite refusal” list. Wouldn’t trust the baskets and the gates remain locked, but all’s been quiet since.
      ps Phone harassment can be prosecuted as criminal ‘Stalking’ for which a 20-year sentence may apply AS WELL AS a civil tort, for which damages can be sought.
      Then there are also options such as ‘Trespass on a person’ and even ‘False imprisonment’ ~ another indictable offence which can carry a massive gaol term. (But the DPP has to agree to prosecute it.)

      Another useful option is to enquire (of the Registrar) at your local Magistrates Court about how to go about applying for a ‘Personal Protection Order’ (Intervention Act).
      They’re pretty-much available for the asking and are merely a rubber-stamp issue.
      ,,,,BUT breach of such an order carries a 2-year sentence.

      Everybody here should take the initiative, and put the other mongrels on the back foot.

  14. Paul says:

    Here we go again! SA beware!

    • 1vimana1 says:

      Paul,
      Every other State in Australia needs to have their Citizens padlock their Electricity Boxes to stop the theft of the Safe and Passive Analog Electric Meters.

  15. John John says:

    It is amazing how the utility companies are so eager to help the consumer to save money by selling these so called “smart meters” The real truth is they will know when you get up in the morning, when you are away, all your appliances will have to be smart meter appliances, when you do laundrey. Soon they will be telling you to do your laundry during the night time hours, great for young families with pre school children.

    • Cedar Wilde says:

      They know we will not be cooking and doing laundry at low-cost rates so they can make a killing out of the supply of electricity. (And our pollies seem to me to be in their pockets)

      • Jason says:

        …..but that’s not news!
        Stop voting for the bastards! And stop paying taxes to feed them.
        JUST. SAY. NO!

        • Gwen 's says:

          Join & vote for PPV(People Power Victoria – No Smart Meters)..The way to go…the sooner the better this LOT of Pollies are out….We sent an email to the Minister of Energy, Russel Northe..All we got back was emailed 3 pages of CRAP…SMART METERS..didn’t answer our email about people’s health, ect…. on 11th,14th,15th & 16th ( this month) SPAusnet rang for us to make an appointment ..Have recorded those messages on tape as proof …We are ready for the next lot !!!!!We have a very good phone message recorder on our phone.we don’t answer until we hear a voice.So we do not answer the ?????????? ones..We can just play the messages then delete.. Keep your boxes locked & keep up saying NO…….

          • Gwen says:

            I rang Russell Northes office and was told by the temporary secretary, who sounded annoyed and disinterested, that his office was not operational yet. Sounded like they were in total disarray and probably won’t be working until after the election.

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