Outsmarted | The Canberra Times

The decision to implement SMART Meter technology across Australia has been made by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) and the ability to opt out of having a SM installed at your house will apparently be limited as of December 1. Why?

Because the “rules” of the AEMC have the “force of law” in Australia and the AEMC, a non-elected body, has decided to implement the technology nationwide, including a “competitive model” for meter installation, maintenance and service, which effectively removes responsibility for your home meter from ActewAGL and other state providers as of December 1.

If you want to opt out of having this technology in your home, you will have to do it now through ActewAGL rather than having to deal with a private company when the meters are rolled out in the ACT in the future.

There are many reasons to opt out of having a SMART Meter in your home: privacy, security, health, increased energy cost, dubious consumer benefits and unrealised network savings.

Dr Merrilyn Fitzpatrick,  Ngunnawal

Via: Letters to the Editor, The Canberra Times

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

13 Responses to Outsmarted | The Canberra Times

  1. Sandra says:

    Hi all,

    I agree that people should be advised they can still opt out after 1 December. This was something I did not realise.

    I am based in QLD and wrote to both my retailer (Origin) and distributor (Energex) and opted out. I posted each letter to the CEO (google the head office address or call them to check address) and sent registered mail. I received a written reply from both comapanies a week later. Energex advised that as of 1 December 2017, they will cease being a meter provider and advised me to raise any concerns with Origin. Origin’s letter stated the old analogue meters are being phased out and ‘whilst a customer can refuse having a Type 4 digital meter installed, a new digital meter will still be installed, however the communications capability is not installed. This meter is known as type 4A’.

    So I assume even if a type 4 meter (smart meter) was installed, you could get your electrician to remove the wireless transmitter, thus making it a type 4A? Would be good to get clarification on this.

    I would like to know my rights for when I decide to move house. If I move into a home that has a smart meter (in states other than VIC), can I get my electrician to remove the wireless device and make it a type 4A meter?

    • Sandra says:

      …PS. Also do we know how much EMF a type 4A meter causes? e.g. dirty electricity etc?

    • Janobai Smith says:

      According to the Final Determination on the new electricity rule, “A type 4A metering installation is a meter that is capable of providing the services set out in the minimum services specification, but is not connected to a telecommunications network that enables remote access to the metering installation.” So this isn’t saying that the wireless transmitter has been physically removed. (Your own electrician wouldn’t be authorised to do this, in any case). It’s just saying that the communications to the network haven’t been connected.

      They’re obviously hoping that you’ll change your mind down-the-track, and ask for the communications to be enabled, once your retailer seduces you with its new services’ options! (This new rule is supposedly all about increasing competition and getting consumers to drive the uptake of smart meters through their choice of the services that they want.)

      Also, according to the amendment to the national electricity rule, retailers (via their metering coordinator) only need to ensure that their type 4 meters can cater for 35 days’ worth of data storage. So if there is already a type 4 meter installed, it may not have enough data storage available, in order for it to be read manually. Type 4A meters have been specified to have a much bigger storage capacity, so that they can be read by a meter reader.

      • Let's get real about RF says:

        Retailers would be mad to install meters that just meet the type 4 specification for data storage. In my (rural) area in Victoria, there are still smart meters that can’t communicate due to technical reasons, years after our State-mandated rollout ended. If Queensland etc electricity retailers have any sense, all the new meters that they put in will be type 4A meters. Then it would be easy for anybody to have the communications disabled.

  2. Jane Jennings says:

    Thank you for clarifying that Don. There is a lot of fear and confusion about this. What you are saying is that people can still opt out after December 1st if they notify their retailer in advance? (and lock their box and put a notice on it) … The message I have been getting is that people will automatically get a smart meter after December 1st if they have not already opted out. Of course, the vast majority of the population do not know this, and if this were true, then we are about to embark on a massive health epidemic with the vast uninformed public as its victims.
    A lot of people including myself are also confused as to whom they should write – the retailer or the provider? And which is which, for they are different! Could someone please clarify this for me? One is to write to the retailer who is the company from whom you receive your bill, is this correct?
    ‘Now I also have a comment to leave for admin. This is the first time I have posted a comment here. I went to your page that says “how to use this site” to comment on the Canberra Times letter. The page said that I should look for the ‘post a comment’ box to click on below the text. After clicking ‘read more’ inside the email, I was taken to your website where there was no such thing to click on to leave a comment. Eventually, I clicked on the leave a comment box that was inside the email you sent me. I would like to see this clarified in your instructions. ie that once you have joined, you can click on the comment box INSIDE YOUR EMAIL, for leave a comment is not available on the website. Yes I found your instructions confusing. Secondly, I dont know about reply. If I hit reply under dons comment, will he be notified? Will my comment still be seen by everyone? I would appreciate an answer on all of my questions.
    I have friends in deep anxiety about getting a smart meter. The same goes for myself. Its like being informed that your government has just made a commttment to putting you on the slow kill list. Also Tony Baron’s question has not been answered by anyone?

    • Murray May says:

      Jane
      I wrote to my electricity retailer (ActewAGL, General Manager Retail) with the following. Some others have added more legalistic stuff as well. I would ask for an acknowledgement to be sent to you as well.

      Murray

      Notice prohibiting installation of smart metering

      With the new national electricity rule becoming effective 1 December 2017, I am advising that I do not wish a smart meter with wireless function operational (type 4 meter) to be fitted in future to my property at INSERT ADDRESS including for any maintenance purpose. The NMI at my address is INSERT NMI SHOWN ON YOUR ELEC BILL.

      Under the new rule, I understand that retailers must promptly provide written notice of such a refusal to the Metering Coordinator who must retain a written record of a small customer refusal for a period of at least 7 years.

      Ask for acknowledgement by mail.

    • Cathy says:

      You don’t need to have an email subscription in order to leave comments. I just go down to the Leave a Comment box and click on it or I click on Reply, if I’m replying to someone else’s comment, like I’m doing now. (Everybody that is looking at the page sees it.)

  3. Janobai Smith says:

    Some clarification on the new electricity rule which came into effect on 1 December in the ACT, Qld, NSW, Tas and SA:

    Customers may opt out of having their existing working meter replaced with a smart meter if their retailer undertakes a new meter deployment. Retailers are required to give two notices to customers prior to the deployment; customers may opt out by informing their retailer in writing, electronically, by telephone, or by any method specified by their retailer.

    In the case of faulty meters, new builds or where meters are deemed to have reached the end of their life, customers will receive a smart meter. However, as long as refusal has been communicated in advance, then customers may elect to have the communications disabled. In this case, customers will be given a type 4A meter, which has storage capacity for 200 days’ worth of data, in order that the meter can be manually read.

    As advised by SSMA in its post of 10 November, “Don’t be caught out – get your ‘Do Not Fit a Smart Meter’ notice on your meter box and get your letter of refusal to your retailer NOW” in order to safeguard your position. Also see the YouTube presentation at https://youtu.be/pGdokq88xx8 for an overview of the problems with smart meters plus an explanation of the new rule.

  4. Tony Baron says:

    Oh no – it’s WORSE than I thought; in 2014, despite Nimbin’s (NSW) Rainbow Power telling me SMs were ‘mandatory’ I had a local company (Sunsparks) install a 3 Kw/12 panel system – with NO SM. 2 years later I had a 1.5 Kw/6 panel system installed by Green Energy (who contacted me).
    So am I correct in assuming I am NOT immune from this crime against humanity being thrust upon us?

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Tony,

      I assume you are referring to your solar panels? I found this info on another website:

      Householders with solar power should be warned that even if the smart meter is removed and replaced with storage batteries for a stand-alone power system, there is still the problem of the AC/DC inverter. Though not a microwave device, a solar inverter is highly EMF radioactive! The inverter takes the electricity from the solar panels – direct current DC – and turns it into alternating current AC, ready to be delivered into the household as a sine wave. The wires connected to the inverter act as antennas, so the radiation may be picked up 200 metres away from the inverter. There have been cases where a solar-electric system proved to be a problem for an electrically sensitive person living next door.

      Unfortunately, at this stage, the solar power system generates ‘dirty electricity’ and it is hoped that future inverter designs are able to decrease this radiation risk to an acceptable safe level.

      There are some exciting storage battery technologies emerging, such as the Tesla brand, that may, in time, allow the householder to use DC electricity without an inverter, and with just a simple charge controller, to prevent the battery burning out and to prevent the reverse flow of electricity back to the solar panels. Certainly consumer demand for a safe, clean and sustainable energy future will drive new technology design!

  5. Musical Language Score says:

    prudence.anderson@aemc.gov.au

    Email enmasse… share and write with passion.

    On 3 December 2017 at 20:29, Stop Smart Meters Australia wrote:

    > Stop Smart Meters Australia posted: “The decision to implement SMART Meter > technology across Australia has been made by the Australian Energy Market > Commission (AEMC) and the ability to opt out of having a SM installed at > your house will apparently be limited as of December 1. Why? Becaus” >

  6. Don Maisch says:

    Dr Fitzpatrick states that “the ability to opt out of having a SM installed at your house will apparently be limited as of December 1. That date is when the new rules take effect, including the right to opt out of having a smart meter.”

    It is my understanding that one still can opt after that date and this should be pointed out as anyone reading that will assume its no longer possible to resist the smart meter onslaught. The right to opt out is stated in the new rules – as long as you don’t already have a communicating SM installed. Get a letter out to your provider, ring as well and state you don’t want a smart meter.Make sure they acknowledge receipt of your demand. Lock up your meter box (with a window so it can still be read) and have a SSM sign on the front. The SSMA site has excellent advice on how to proceed.

    Don

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