Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Russell Northe recently moved legislation which will enable power distributors to “recover the costs of manual metering services from customers who refuse the installation of a smart meter.”
See pages 1456-1457 in HANSARD: http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/daily-hansard/Assembly_2014/Assembly_Weekly_Feb-Jun_2014_Book_6.pdf
It is clearly unethical that consumers who do not have smart meters should be charged both a fee for a smart meter (as currently occurs), plus an additional fee to read their existing meter.
Why should power consumers be charged twice?
It is also quite nonsensical to be charged for a meter reader to come out four times a year when customers could easily provide readings three times a year. This would result in a requirement for a meter reader to only come out once a year, as currently occurs for some customers.
The debate on this bill was adjourned until Wednesday 21 May by Opposition Energy Spokesperson Lily D’Ambrosio.
Will the ALP and Independent Member Geoff Shaw oppose this unethical legislation that aims to ‘double charge’ customers who do not have a smart meter?
No other state in Australia intends to financially punish electricity consumers for not having a smart meter. Why should Victorians be treated any differently?
The question logically arises, are Victorian Coalition politicians receiving ‘kickbacks’ to facilitate power distributors to extract even more money from hapless electricity consumers?
Time will tell whether the Australian Labor Party and Geoff Shaw will stand up for electricity consumers in Victoria or follow the path of the Liberal/National Party towards corporate self-indulgence.