Get Rid of A Smart Meter
It is NOT compulsory to have a “smart” or “advanced” meter” and a growing number of people have managed to get “smart meters” removed after they have been installed. This may not always be easy, but it can be done. One of the purposes of this site is to share successful ideas to help people get rid of their “smart meter” with a minimum of fuss and bother. (This being said, it can be very difficult to get rid of a “smart meter” once it has been installed so if you do not have one, take steps to prevent an unwanted “smart meter” installation; see this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/how-to-avoid-getting-a-smart-meter/.)
The following ideas have been successful for other people so you may also find that they work for you.
1) Call your electricity company and insist that they remove the “smart meter”.
It is likely that you will be told that the “smart meter” is safe or compulsory and/or that you are neurotic or foolish to want to have it removed. Stand your ground and insist that it be removed. Ask for it to be replaced with an analogue (electromechanical meter) or if that is not possible, a new electronic meter that is not a “smart meter”.
If you are completely insistent in your communications with your electricity company (you may need to make a number of calls until you reach someone who takes your concerns seriously , the company may respect your wishes. (In some cases, it may be helpful to tell your electricity company that you will change to another company if the company does not value your business!)
NB: If your electricity company is helpful, please email through the site Contact form so we know about this and can advise others.
2) If your current electricity company refuses to remove your smart meter and replace it with an analogue meter or digital meter that is not a smart meter, you may need consider changing electricity companies to a company that will replace it. At present there appear to be several options. These options are listed in alphabetical order, out of fairness to the companies.
NB: The site coordinator has no financial interest in any electricity company.
If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for the email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz as this will allow you receive updates on the smart meter situation in NZ.
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1) Contact Energy
Contact Energy has reportedly made new non-smart meters available to its customers. One customer reports on his personal dealings with Contact which resulted in his being offered a new Actaris SMO Ace 100 meter. (Technical details about the meter may be read at this link http://www.measurement.gov.au/Publications/CertificateOfApproval/OtherInstruments/Electricity_utility_Meters/Documents/14-2-18.pdf while you can read the post here: http://smartmeterpowerstruggle.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/new-analogues-are-an-option-in-nz/
Please note that although the Actaris meter still has an analogue display, it is NOT a traditional electromechanical (Ferraris) meter, but will contain a switch mode power supply, so may produce dirty electricity.
According to recent reports (personal communications) Contact Energy has offered to some of its customers to remove the transmission chip from “smart meters” that have already been installed. This is apparently not an option with every model of “smart meter” but can be done with at least one model of “smart meter”. This is not a perfect solution (as the meters may still emit “dirty electricity”) but it should stop the meter emitting microwave radiation. (For a comparison between a smart meter with its chip/modem/comms unit removed and a Ferraris meter, please see this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/comparing-analogue-ferraris-meters-with-smart-meters-which-have-had-the-modem-removed/
For an example of a case where Contact was helpful to a family, please see this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/headaches-disappear-after-smart-meter-replaced/
2) Energy Direct
An initial report received on January 14, 2014 indicates that Energy Direct has agreed to remove a “smart meter” from the home of one of its customers in Wellington.
3) Nova Energy
This company has recently been reported to be helpful: please see this post for details:
An Aucklander who wanted to get rid of a “smart meter” recently found that Powershop was prepared to put in a new electronic non-smart meter and did this job quickly and efficiently. It is not yet clear whether Powershop will do this in all areas of NZ; it may depend upon what company owns the electricity meter.
Trust Power has been reported to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz as having helped some customers who had an existing “smart meter” to have the meter replaced with a conventional meter, but according to the company spokesman in January 2014 “this is no longer possible”…” because of the high density of ‘smart meters’ now in the field.”
Important updates: According to a statement issued on May 9, 2014, Trustpower will be moving to installing “smart meters” in the near future.
“Trustpower has for some time been reviewing the potential deployment of smart meters to its residential customer base including the technology options and business models available to enable a successful transition to be made. The Company is currently negotiating with a preferred supplier and expects to finalise an agreement over the next few months. See: https://www.trustpower.co.nz/getting-to-know-us/news-and-media/media-releases/2014/5/9/trustpower-market-announcement
An announcement on NZX today (June 5, 2014) stated that Metrix had been chosen as Trustpower’s “preferred smart metering partner” and that “smart meter” installations for Trustpower customers are planned for 2015. See: https://www.nzx.com/companies/TPW/announcements/251233 )
(Further information about Trust Power is at the end of this post.)
If you are with Trust Power and do not want a “smart meter” it would be a good idea to communicate your wishes to the company now and see if the company will accommodate your preference.
* Please email through the Contact form at this link http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/ if you have information about any other companies that are willing to remove customers’ “smart meters” and replace them with analogue (electromechnical or Ferraris) meters so that we can share this information on the site.
Information to help you change power companies, if necessary:
The following website (supported by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs) allows you to compare prices offered by various companies: http://www.powerswitch.org.nz/powerswitch while the site http://www.whatsmynumber.org.nz/FindYourNumber (another NZ government site that includes a service in which you can estimate possible savings from changing electricity companies.)
This link on the website gives an alphabetised list of electricity companies and their contact details, including email addresses.
The private companies www.switchme.co.nz and http://youselect.co.nz/ also offers a similar service. (This link on http://youselect.co.nz/energy_suppliers.php allows you see which companies supply electricity in your area.)
If neither of these ideas work for you, please email through the Contact for and we will do our best to help.
(NB: Please keep copies of all correspondence so that if there are companies that are treating their customers with particular disrespect, this can be documented.)
If your reason for changing companies is to avoid a “smart meter” installation or is to get a “smart meter” removed, it is prudent to get a written agreement with the company that a “smart meter” rather rely on a verbal assurance from a company staff member.
Please take the time to warn your family, friends, colleagues etc NOW about the “smart meters” issue as some people have had considerable trouble getting their “smart meter” removed and it is much better to prevent its installation than to get rid of it once it is installed.
Further information about Trust Power
Trustpower currently (June 2014) has electromechanical meters serving the vast majority of its customers. To date (January 14, 2014 and still as of June 2014) it is the only major electricity company in NZ not to have proactively installed “smart meters” for its customers.
However, in January 2014 a company spokesperson has told www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz that “given high rates of customer switching between electricity retailers (up to 1 in 5 customers each month) and the fact that other retailers (including Meridian, Mercury, Contact and Genesis, but not limited to those) had already previously installed smart meters prior to customers switching to Trustpower, the company has ever increasing numbers of customers who have ‘smart meters’ at their homes. The Trustpower spokesman has stated that the company “believes that the move of the entire market to “smart meters” is inevitable over time and is continuously assessing whether it should proactively deploy ‘smart meters’ to its customers or not.”
Trust Power has been reported to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz as having helped some customers who had an existing “smart meter” to have the meter replaced with a conventional meter, but according to the company spokesman “this is no longer possible”…” because of the high density of ‘smart meters’ now in the field.”
Trust Power owns about 20,000 electromechanical meters that are on properties that are served by other retailers and it spokesman stated that “if that retailer notifies a customer that it intends to replace the meter with its own ‘smart meter’, the change to a ‘smart meter’ may be able to be avoided by switching to Trustpower which could leave the existing meter in place. However, this would not be possible if the meter was owned by a third party, i.e. the local network company.
Important update: According to a statement issued on May 9, 2014, Trustpower will be moving to installing “smart meters” in the near future.
“Trustpower has for some time been reviewing the potential deployment of smart meters to its residential customer base including the technology options and business models available to enable a successful transition to be made. The Company is currently negotiating with a preferred supplier and expects to finalise an agreement over the next few months.
February 2015: This is the latest news on Trust Power’s planned smart meter roll out: http://www.metering.com/deal-watch-metrix-chooses-silver-spring-for-ami-rollout-in-nz/
While all information on this site has been fact checked carefully, www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. Information about specific companies has been collated from articles in the media and other publicly available sources, as well as through communications with staff of respective companies and communications received from members of the public.
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