Forced smart meter installation alert – and how to prevent it from happening to you
I have received a recent report of a locked meter box being broken into for the purposes of installing a smart meter. This report came from a New Zealander. (If any readers have similarly suffered forced smart meter installations, you can contact www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz for advice via our contact form at this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/
The forced smart meter installation took place despite the person who made the report having previously informed their electricity retailer that a smart meter was not wanted and was under the impression that a smart meter would not be installed. (There was no notice on the meter box at the time of the forced installation.)
The following steps should prevent other such forced installations:
1) Put a sign on your meter box that prohibits entry to the meter box for any activity other than meter reading or maintenance of the existing meter unless you (as the home owner or tenant) have specifically authorised access to the meter box for any other work. The notice at this link can be adapted to your needs www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/New-notice-for-meter-boxes-February-20151.docx
If you want you can add your name and address to the bottom of the notice.
2) Put a lock on your meter box (you should check your Terms and Conditions first to make sure that this is not prohibited under your supply contract) and then take a photo of your meter box with its sign and lock and keep this somewhere safe.
2) Inform your electricity retailer in writing (email is OK) that you will not accept a smart meter at your home or business. Keep a record of the email sent or use registered mail or a signature required courier if you send a printed letter. Archive any reply that you may receive from your electricity retailer.
NB: Please share this post via email and/or social media to help other people learn how to prevent a smart meter installation.
Smart meters are not compulsory in NZ
Please note that while some electricity company staff claim that smart meters are compulsory or some sort of government requirement it is NOT compulsory to have a smart meter in NZ.
Please note that it seems to be quite common for smart meters to be installed without prior notification, so if you still have an analogue meter and want to keep it, it would be prudent to take the above steps to prevent a smart meter installation NOW.
Resources to help you refuse a smart meter, including bilingual Te Reo/English options may be found at this LINK of www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz
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