It has been reported to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz by many NZers that they have been told by representatives of their power company that there is a government deadline for electricity meter replacement by April 1 2015.
This is NOT true.
What the Electricity Authority (EA) regulations state is that meters need to have a current certification at that time.
If you live in a relatively new home (built during or after October 1999) your electricity meter may be certified up until and beyond April 1 2015. (See below for how you can check on when your meter’s certification expires.)
If you live in a home with an older meter (those installed prior to October 1999) as of this writing (February 2015) your meter will have “interim” certification that is due to lapse on April 1.
In the case of meters which have an interim certification which is due to expire, electricity companies can variously choose to either:
i) Re-certify those meters which currently have “interim certification”,
ii) OR get an exemption from the EA from having to recertify the meter by April 1, 2015
iii) OR replace the meter with a new meter.
NB: If a meter has reached the end of its useful life, The EA regulations do NOT specify the type of electricity meter that may be used to replace it; electricity companies can CHOOSE between smart meters, electronic meters that are not smart meters and traditional analogue (electromechanical Ferraris) meters. All of these types of meters are on the NZ market.
There is NO government requirement for electricity companies to install smart meters in homes or small businesses.
If someone from your electricity company tells you that they have to install a smart meter because it is a “government requirement” or words to that effect, they are either misinformed or lying.
If you have an older meter (or do not know the age of your meter), there are two ways of finding this out.
- Call your electricity retailer and ask if they have a record of when your meter’s certification is due to expire. Electricity retailers have access this information and should give it to you.
- If your electricity retailer has given you incorrect information in the past (so you do not trust the company to tell you the truth regarding your meter’s certification status), you can obtain the information by making a request under the Official Information Act (OIA) to the Electricity Authority for information relating to the meter at your address.
If you decide to make a request under the OIA, include the ICP number for the electricity the electricity service to your home (which will be on your bill) in the request. A simple statement to the effect that “under the Official Information Act” you require the information held by the EA about the meter at your address, including its certification status and when its certification expires “ should get the information easily.
EA contact details are at this link:
You can email a request under Official Information Act; it is not necessary to send it by post.
The next steps…
Once you know whether or not your meter’s certification is going to be valid beyond April 2015, you can make a decision about what to do next. (You may well find you have a certified meter and do not need to make any decisions.)
However, if you electricity meter’s certification is due to lapse on April 1 and/or you are with an electricity retailer that is that is insisting that you accept a smart meter, if you do not want a smart meter, you may have to consider changing companies.
There is information at this link that you may find helpful if this is the case.
NB: If you are being offered a smart meter that has had its wireless transmission capacity disabled, please read this post so that you are aware the the issues with these types of meters before making your decision: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/comparing-analogue-ferraris-meters-with-smart-meters-which-have-had-the-modem-removed/
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