Smart meters by stealth

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) made a new rule last year which is intended to “open up competition in metering and facilitate a market-led deployment of advanced meters”.  The new arrangements commence on 1 December 2017 in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Under the new rule, consumers have the right to opt out of having their existing working meter replaced with an advanced (a.k.a. smart) meter where a retailer is undertaking a new meter deployment; however, this option is not available for new connections or where a faulty meter is being replaced.  Opt-outs are also not permitted where there is a prepayment meter and a customer subsequently requires life support equipment; in these circumstances the prepayment meter will be immediately removed and replaced with an advanced meter.  In addition, opt-outs are not permitted for maintenance replacements, where sample testing has indicated existing meters may become faulty.

Is this new rule the slippery slope towards pushing all customers subject to the National Energy Customer Framework on to wireless smart meters?  Although the new rule pointedly specifies the services which the meter must be capable of providing, rather than the technical functionality, the reality is that a device which is capable of wirelessly emitting pulsed microwaves 24 hours a day, every day, will be installed.

Even in cases where there is no existing smart meter network in place and a new or replacement meter is required, a communications-ready meter is to be provided.  The AEMC has acknowledged that where there is no right of opt-out, such as for new connections, faulty meters or maintenance replacement meters, some customers will seek to prevent the installation of a smart meter; in such instances, where the customer has communicated a refusal, provision has also been made to install a communications-ready smart meter. However, in these circumstances the remote access capabilities will not be activated until the customer consents to this.  There is no requirement to notify customers, other than informing the customer of an interruption to their supply of electricity, if a meter is being replaced due to it being faulty or if a maintenance replacement is being undertaken.  It is therefore imperative that customers put in place measures to signify their refusal of a smart meter in advance.

The new rule does not apply in Western Australia or the Northern Territory, as separate energy frameworks apply in these jurisdictions.  Victoria has only partially adopted the National Energy Customer Framework, and is yet to implement this new rule as law.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council requested the new rule. COAG Energy Council members are comprised of energy and resources ministers from the Commonwealth, each State and Territory, and New Zealand.

For further information, see:

http://www.aemc.gov.au/Energy-Rules/Retail-energy-rules/Guide-to-application-of-the-NECF

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11 Responses to Smart meters by stealth

  1. PW says:

    STEPS TO TAKE TO AVOID THE NATION-WIDE SMART METER ROLL-OUT (which starts 4/12/17):
    OK. So after MUCH research, many phone calls etc, I have a lot of information to share to help people with this. Below I will detail a campaign that I have done a letterbox-drop for my local neighbourhood. The letter is pasted below, which I printed out, together with:
    – A slightly amended copy of the letters that are available on this site for download. One was to the CEO (John Cleland) of NSW’s ‘Essential Energy’, making the sender’s opt-out wishes known and informing him of legal ramifications if a smart meter is fitted to their meter box. NOTE: If you’re in QLD, you’d need to instead do the same for ‘Energex’ (instead of Essential Energy). Energex’s CEO’s name is Phil Garling.
    – The 2nd (amended) version of this letter was for my neighbour’s energy retailer (Origin, Energex etc etc – whoever bills them). I left the space blank for them to fill out their retailer’s details, their meter’s NIM # and their account #.
    – A copy of the ‘Smart meter fact sheet’ available on this site for download.
    – A printed copy of the ‘Do not instal’ sign for their meter box. For my immediate neighbours, I laminated this, to help the odds that they will use it!

    Below is the letter that I sent to my neighbours, in an envelope with the above. PLEASE DO feel free to copy, amend and print and share this to do your own letterbox drop in your street! PLEASE do share it on social media too, as I’m not on social media. At least let people know that this is coming with a simple post – their mainstream media hasn’t whispered a word of it to inform them!

    ALSO – print and deliver to your kid’s schools – this is very important that your local schools protect the kids by locking their meter box (offer to do it for them if they’re not handy), as other countries continue to ban smart meters and WiFi in schools, while Australia, inexplicably, aggressively follows Agenda 2030 protocol to roll these carcinogenic meters out. I hope this info pack helps you all…

    URGENT NOTICE TO ‘X’ ST RESIDENTS
    (AS WELL AS SURROUNDING STREETS):

    Dear Neighbour,
    Electricity providers all across Australia will attempt an installation of a ‘Smart’ Meter in our homes & schools starting as soon as December 4th, 2017. As was proven in Victoria’s disastrous and nefarious smart-meter roll-out, this meter will increase your energy bills, surveil your usage habits, sell that information to third parties, limit your supply and most importantly, emit pulsed electromagnetic and microwave radiation 24 hours a day, damaging your health.
    For children, this EMF radiation is proven to be particularly damaging to their development. For adults, over 5,000 published scientific studies have proven serious, harmful effects. Once this meter is installed, it’s been stated that consumers have no right of refusal, it will be fitted even if you aren’t home and consumer requests to have it removed will be refused – as a matter of stated policy. There is good reason that this roll-out across 5 Australian states has not been covered by mainstream media…

    IMPORTANTLY, you can opt-out of the meter installation – but you must do so in advance – prior to December 1st, 2017. State governments were signatory to the National Energy Customer Framework, which made quiet mention that energy customers have the right to opt-out of this meter DOWNgrade as a result of the overwhelming negative health effects experienced in Victoria, the USA and Europe.

    IMMEDIATE STEPS FOR ‘X’ STREET RESIDENTS TO TAKE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES:
    – If your retailer is Origin Energy, they allow you to easily opt-out online here: https://www.originenergy.com.au/advanced-meter-optout.html#/start0
    – Call Energex (if this is who bills you) as stated above on 13 12 53 to opt-out of the scheduled installation. State the below:
    – You require emailed confirmation that your opt-out request has been received.
    – Any non-compliance with your rightful wishes will be referred to the State Energy & Water Ombudsman (EWON).

    – I have printed and enclosed a ready-made notice for you to laminate and attach to your locked meter box, stating that a smart meter must NOT be installed on your home. Photograph the sign once in place, as proof of placement. Additional signs may be printed and laminated from here: stopsmartmeters.com.au
    – I’ve printed a copy of a letter for you to simply fill in two details and post to (Essential Energy NSW), to make your wishes known. Scan/photocopy/photograph this before posting it (by registered mail), so you have a record of it.
    – I’ve also printed a copy of a letter for you to send to your electricity retailer. Your energy retailer’s name and details are on your electricity bill, as is your meter’s NMI #.

    WHAT ELSE TO DO, TO BE SURE OF YOUR SAFETY:
    – MOST IMPORTANTLY, fix a lock to your meter box, as most installations have been done when people aren’t home – even if they have stated they don’t want a smart meter. The energy corporation owns the meter itself, but YOU own the box that the meter is housed in, so you have the right to lock it. Installers won’t force a locked meter box open because this would be criminal damage. If you don’t have a lockable box for your meter, build a simple one to protect your rights. Just make sure you leave a small window for the meter-reader to still be able to read the existing meter’s screen. Skip this ‘window’ step for a few weeks if necessary – just make sure you get the meter box locked-up immediately.
    If you need help with this: https://stopsmartmeters.com.au/actions-you-can-take/locked-meter-box/
    – What do to if your home already has a smart meter installed: You need to call a Level 2 electrician and ask him to source a ‘basic’ meter to replace your smart meter. If you have solar feeding in, ask him to instead source a ‘Net’ meter for you. From December 4th, Level 2 electrician’s won’t have the authority to do this swap and you’ll instead need to go through your electricity retailer, stating that you require this due to an electromagnetic hypersensitivity. They will make this hard for you to achieve, so book a Level 2 Electrician to take care of this for you asap. If you’re reading this and the deadline has already lapsed, rumour has it that the roll-out won’t be immediate, so it’s still worth calling and trying to book someone. If you’re in the Northern NSW/Southern QLD area, call Peder from Elford’s Electrical on 02 6672 2090 for this (NOTE: I’m simply recommending Peder. I have no affiliation with him or his business).

    What to be aware of to protect yourself from known power company tactics:

    – Australian power companies have been stating that it’s a government mandate that they instal your new meter. Tenants and owners have been threatened with large fines and having their power cut-off for not complying. This is not only misleading – it’s illegal disinformation. The ‘mandate’ turned out to be nothing more than a request by the government for the power companies to use their ‘best endeavours’ to instal the new meters. There is NO mandate, no law and no obligation for you as an owner or tenant to accept the installation of a smart meter, as stated in the National Energy Customer Framework.
    – You can learn plenty more about this technology, your rights and how to protect yourself from it at http://www.stopsmartmeters.com.au
    – Note that smart meters are also referred to as ‘advanced’ meters.  In some cases, wireless-enabled smart meters are also being deceptively called ‘digital’ meters; however, the functionality of these particular ‘digital’ meters goes beyond being simply digital as the meters also feature remote communications.
    – GREAT article here: https://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2017/11/10/residents-of-nsw-qld-sa-tas-and-act-its-time-to-say-no/

    As neighbours, we are only as strong as the next. The radiation emission range from neighbouring smart meters effects us all. Let us learn from the disastrous smart meter experience in Victoria, the USA and Canada (among others) and question why Australia is aggressively pursuing their installation, when the USA, Canada and Europe are rolling them back as a result of proven negative health impacts. Ask your neighbours (and your children’s schools) to also make the commitment to lock their meter box.
    I urge you to learn more at the above website and do your own research – but please do so as a matter of priority, as our beautiful street is scheduled for the implementation of this violation starting as soon as December 4th 2017.
    I’ve put this together to make it as easy as possible for you to act to protect your family. I’ve sent these letters to just some houses on our street, so please do feel free to photocopy this material and share it! Talk to your neighbours – across the road and over the fence and let’s take our power back as a community who have the right to protect our families, enjoy our health and our civil liberties. 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    Put up trespassing signs for starters. Rules are not laws, requirements are not laws either. This is just another game to get these devices in.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You have to give notice to come onto private property this is law and you need consent, so in fact if they were to come onto your private property it would be trespassing if you have not given consent. A requirement not to give notice does not it make it legal. This is a notice of what they intend to do trespass laws would apply to this requirement.
    Is this a rule or law? A rule is not a law. It has to be law and then that would make the State’s responsible for this law liable for damages. So perhaps we might get the names of those that made the rules and hold them personally liable and responsible for this rule. The State of Victoria would if adapting these rules, be liable for any harm. Any one giving orders to install a smart meter without consent is also liable and responsible.
    State of Victoria can then be held labile and responsible.

  4. Laurence Edwards says:

    And so they proliferate their poison further.

  5. Solar Sam says:

    http://www.aemc.gov.au/About-Us/About-the-AEMC/Chair-comissioners

    Chair

    John Pierce brings extensive energy market, financial market and economic policy experience to the role. He was formerly Secretary of the Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, following 12 years of service as Secretary of the New South Wales (NSW) Treasury and Chairman of the NSW Treasury Corp. Prior to his time at Treasury his energy business and operational experience was at Pacific Power and the Electricity Commission of NSW. He also has experience in the processes of government at state and federal levels, having worked at the most senior levels in policy development and provision of policy advice to ministers, cabinets, ministerial councils and the Council of Australian Governments. He holds a BCom, Hon. (UNSW).

    Mr Pierce was nominated for appointment by state and territory energy ministers in June 2010.

    Commissioners

    Neville Henderson has an extensive professional background in energy and utilities. He came to the AEMC from his former position as an Executive Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where he provided advice to both public and private sectors on energy utility operation, regulation, strategic and business planning, electricity and gas industry restructuring, and on market issues. Prior to joining PwC Mr Henderson was with the National Grid Management Council (NGMC) 1994–1997, where he led the development of market and trading arrangements for the National Electricity Market. Mr Henderson holds a BCom (University of Melbourne) and a Diploma of Mechanical Engineering (Footscray Technology College.

    Mr Henderson was nominated for appointment by state and territory energy ministers and commenced his role as a part-time Commissioner in October 2009.

    Dr Brian Spalding has held key implementation and operational roles in national and state electricity markets since their conception in the early 1990s. He was Chief Executive Officer of the National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO) where he was responsible for the day to day operation of the National Electricity Market and the electricity power system for south and eastern Australia. In 2009 he became Executive General Manager Operations of the new Australian Energy Market Operator. Dr Spalding holds a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Honours Class 1 and University Medal) and a Doctor of Philosophy in power system analysis from the University of New South Wales.

    Dr Spalding was re-appointed by the Governor of South Australia from April 2016.

    Are these guys the problem?

    • Anonymous says:

      If these guys are the problem, that’s where your letters should be going. Put trespass signs up they can’t trespass and they would also have to give you a copy of the law. Ask for them the paperwork.

      • Man on a mission says:

        What Anonymous means by trespass signs is “No Trespass” signs

        • Anonymous says:

          Man on a mission, trespassing signs don’t have to say no trespassing. They can say” do not enter” or private property or keep out. On the advice i have been given any one of these signs are trespassing signs and i am sure most people reading my post would understand this.
          Trespass applies is another sign you can use. Different signs same meaning. So you obviously did not understand what i meant and should not speak for me.

  6. Paul R says:

    This is disgusting! They make it sound like as if they were doing us a favour or that those who do not comply with a “smart” meter is somehow “disrupting progress” or something. More f$%#ing bureaucracy to justify their genocide!
    This is their way of fighting back at those who wish to protect themselves. The cowards hide behind laws that suit them.
    I hope when the time comes, everyone who has taken part in this whole inhumane act gets punished appropriately.

  7. Gerhard says:

    What a lot of Garbage, amongst other nice legal wordings this one is great. – “In addition, opt-outs are not permitted for maintenance replacements, where sample testing has indicated existing meters may become faulty.” All what a energy provider has to do is send anybody around and “test” !!!!! The result will be (surprise surprise) the existing meter may become faulty, and voila, it needs to be replaced. What a nice definition “may become faulty” Is there anything in this universe what will not “may become faulty” sooner or later.

  8. Christine Crawford says:

    We were in SA recently. I had a look at a couple of meters. They definitely weren’t analogue! Christine

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