Victorians beware: New push to install smart meters!

It has come to SSMA’s attention that Victorian power distributors are once again targeting residences that refused a smart meter during the 2009-2014 state-mandated rollout of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).

Despite the Victorian government’s 2014 Order in Council stating, in the case of account holder refusal, that a distributor is not required to comply with the requirement that a remotely read interval meter must be installed until such time as “refusal is withdrawn or access to install a remotely read interval meter is otherwise available”, distributors continue in their attempts to sneak radiation-emitting infrastructure on to residences.

A ‘Notice of Meter Upgrade’ that was recently mailed to customers from United Energy states “We are advising you that a qualified meter technician will carry out the installation of the AMI meter at your property…”.  At least this customer was given some forewarning.  It has been reported that a customer in Powercor’s catchment area found her notice of refusal ripped off, and a smart meter installed.

AusNet Services customers can also expect to find their meters targeted – but for many of these customers it will be because the radiofrequency communications card in their WiMAX-networked smart meter has died.  According to information referred to by the Australian Energy Regulator in its 2016 to 2020 determination for AusNet Services, these modules only have a design life of seven years, and the manufacturer had advised that “chipsets and other components used in the WiMAX communications modules are no longer available to purchase”.  Consequently, AusNet Services has adopted “a reactive approach in which WiMAX hardware is replaced with mesh radio equivalents when a failure is observed”.  This strategy might provide those AusNet Services customers who had the misfortune to have a WiMAX smart meter installed on their residence, and who haven’t yet had their meter converted, a window of opportunity to make sure their meter remains a much safer, non-communicating meter!

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15 Responses to Victorians beware: New push to install smart meters!

  1. Maria Sirianni says:

    United Energy – Interruption to electricity supply correspondence

    I live in South East suburbs of Melbourne. My meter has been locked
    for several years, do not consent letters sent in 2013, meter can be
    viewed for readings, meter has been photographed and signs are up.

    Just want to let you know my thoughts on the correspondence, what I
    did and what happened on the day the power was interrupted. This may
    help someone else. Plus I have some questions.

    I received the letter in March 2019. The works were to take place 30
    April. It included this paragraph “Construction crews are required
    to have unhindered access to your electricity meter at the end of
    the work to test power has been restored safely. Power will not be
    connected at your property until access has been provided”. Did not
    like this. How can they disconnect power when we pay our bills, have
    not interfered with the meter itself and the meter can be read? Plus
    if a disconnection were to happen there would be certain protocol
    that needs to be followed. The letter seemed generic as it was not
    addressed to me by name plus there was no indication who from United
    Energy had sent it, no name or signature. I did not contact UE &
    ignored it.

    The following week a card was received in the mail. Again advising
    of the disruption but no mention of needing access to the meter. I
    did not contact UE. I asked my neighbour if they had received the
    letter. They did and they have a smart meter. So I knew the work was
    going to happen.

    Yesterday 30 April the work crews arrived around 8.00am.

    I made sure all our power points were switched off and disconnected
    all the appliances. I left the fridge on. Made sure my phone and
    tablet were charged, had copies of my Do Not Consent letters, copy
    of Order of Council 2014 and name and contact details for the Energy
    & Water Ombudsman just in case we needed to have a conversation
    at the end of the day about access to meter.

    There is a power pole next door and another two doors down so they
    were right outside our place all day. One truck was parked outside
    our house. One worker saw the sign on our my fence, read it and then
    put his sunglasses on and walked towards the meter. Assume to read
    the other signs and to see the meter from a distance. If he came to
    the door which is where the meter is located our dog would have
    scared him off.

    The power was turned off before they started working. The power was
    switched back on around 5.30pm when they finished the work. No one
    came to ask to see the meter.

    This is what I understand about The Order in Council 5/8/2014 Clause
    14AA. If an account holder refuses a smart meter then the power
    company could only install a meter if the refusal is withdrawn or if
    they access to install a meter at the first opportunity. So the
    power companies could now be using this tact saying they need to
    check the meter for maintenance and safety?

    I see the meter as an instrument to measure the usage and works when
    there is power. If there is no power the problem could come from
    within the property (in which case our safety switch would be
    activated and we would investigate it) or outside power lines.

    Am I on the right track?

    What maintenance or safety issue would effect the meter?

    If someone from the power company turned up at our door saying there
    was a problem with the meter and they needed to see it what do we do?

    • Cathy says:

      It sounds like in this case your power distributor was undertaking work that wasn’t connected with upgrading meters. But you’re wise to remain vigilant! As you point out, a sneaky power distributor might try and trick you so that they can install a smart meter. Luckily the old spinning dial meters (unlike electronic meters …what a waste of $$) keep on keeping on.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cameron O’Reilly – Leaving a trail of global biological harm, EHS and financial devastation from sm.
    Look at these links and work out the corporate (Bayard Capital take over of Swiss firm Landis Gyr) family media connections, etc for yourself:'reilly/

    • M says:

      Actually I too had a very reasonable letter from them. Several in fact and then they turned authoritarian and lastly they said I was off their list……. except a few weeks later the turned up and ripped the meter off the wall and installed a smartmeter. I walked out and had a big argument with them and ordered them to reinstate the removed mete but their rhetric was that it was already destroyed… minutes after their unauthorised entry and work. I then ordered them to leav the private property or I will call the police. they said they can leave but I will have no power “for my safety”. Whilst the supervisor snooped and photographed my property their contractors furiously ripped out other flats meters and did the same.

      Never ever trust them! They aim to defuse and discharge and carry out their agenda anyway. be warned.

  3. Al says:

    Never thought I would be defending United Energy, but they responded sensitively after I emailed them six reasons (why I could not have a smart meter), including my recent experience of spending two nights at a relative’s farm, in a room with a smart meter and a WiFi modem on the other sides of the walls of the room I slept in. My name was taken off the installation list, because they said they did not wish to cause any angst to anyone. The program was only intended to supply smart meters for those people who wished to take advantage of the ability to track their usage.

    • Anonymous says:

      Al, I very much appreciate you sharing this information with us. You should we all should still continue to remain wary and not become complacent. We’ve won a battle. We’ve yet to win the war.

  4. mimb says:

    We got a letter from UE today. I called & told them [had to leave a message as no-one is answering the number they provide] that they can not go ahead based on past correspondence.

  5. Rob Simpson says:

    Sending an article in case you are not aware of it yet: Rob

  6. Happy Dissenter says:

    Thanks for the heads up.

  7. Cedar says:

    How can people “make sure their meter is a safer non-communicating meter?”

    • Cathy says:

      If a meter reader is coming to do the readings, or if the bill is estimated, than that would suggest that the communications module has died. Or you could use a RF meter to see if the meter is still sending out microwaves.

  8. Paul says:

    Does antone have any news about Jemena’s intentions?

  9. Anonymous says:

    When rating the morality levels of the five Victorian electricity distribution companies there is a compelling argument to mark United Energy right down at the toilet end of the scale. UE were callous in the way that they utterly destroyed a woman’s life. Some of the installers UE employed were thugs because they engaged in outright thuggery in their endeavors to forcefully install UE’s devices, none more so than the infamous person self named as Frank Sinatra who we all saw on the media physically violating the person of Darren. As for Powercor, they are also close to that toilet end of the scale who forced a good man and his family to have to leave this state just to try and recover their health and are now forced to live away from family and friends. As they were doing so before it seems they are still engaging in the criminal act of destroying people’s personal property. One can only hope that Jemena who have publicly stated a position of being respectful to a customer’s freedom of choice to not have a communicating meter on their premises, honors their stated position and does not go down the path of this thuggish behaviour that is now reported to be re-emerging. The Order in Council gives customer’s every right to not have one of these toxic transmitting devices forced upon them and the criminal behaviour of United Energy, Ausnet Services, Powercor, Citipower or potentially any other Victorian Distributor can be prosecuted very effectively and successfully in our courts of law by those persons incensed by this whole smart meter evil and which persons I’m sure are willing and more than capable of causing great damage to their organisations if forced to do so.

  10. Rob says:

    Wow , i knew something was up a few months back when my No Smart Meter sign went missing. Not ta worry I just put another one up, but when you do make sure to take photos with a current newspapers date in preview as so to back yourself up if it comes to litigation to sue those bastards. My S/Meter is locked up in a box with 3 padlocks, which is why my Meter was not replaced.

  11. Arnie Kaye says:

    Any Ausnet Services customers that have a smart meter should lock their meter boxes securely and cut out a window in their meter box door to enable visual reads to take place.This especially applies to those customers whose Ausnet Services provided Landis & Gyr E350 smart meter model contains the failing and now defunct WI-MAX communications module. You should allow this toxicity to die it’s natural death and ensure that your box is locked to prevent Ausnet from poisoning you again with radiation from any new communications module that they would try to install that utilises the toxic wireless mesh technology which Victorian utility companies are well aware has already caused serious damage to the health of many.

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