Are you (or a friend) eligible to vote in the Victoria State Elections

If you live in Victoria and want to support the party that has been formed to oppose smart meters, People Power Victoria, this page gives you information about how you can do this.

If you would like to learn more about why you may want to consider voting for this party, please see this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/do-you-live-in-victoria-australia-or-have-friends-or-family-there/

If you are not in Victoria but have friends and family there please consider letting them know about People Power Victoria.

 

Information about People Power Victoria and How to Vote for People Power Victoria

 The information below has been supplied by People Power Victoria.

Here is the link to PPV’s most recent flier –

http://www.peoplepowervictoria.org.au/uploads/files/People_Power_A5_Flyer_v2.pdf

On Election Day you have a decision to make. Consider your Vote carefully.
Vote 1 People Power Victoria!

The voice you need … The change you deserve!

How to Vote Cards for all electorates are available on the PPV website – simply select the underlined candidate listed in your electorate. Click here to go to PPV site

Select the underlined candidate in your electorate to find your how to vote card, print it to use to place your vote.

Please share this with others who may be interested, or print off and hand to others prior to voting.

Marc Florio
Secretary
People Power Victoria

Who controls your heat pump? You? Or your electricity company?

SITE EDITOR’S NOTE August 20: I have received some feedback on this article, which stated, in part, that most “smart” meters in NZ do not contain ZigBee chips. (See below.) The post below in its original version did state that “not all” smart meters in NZ contain ZigBees;  however, for the sake of clarity I have re-edited the post to make it clear that most smart meters in NZ do not contain ZigBees.

I will write a follow-up post in response to other comments as soon as I can.

SITE EDITOR’S NOTE August 28:  I have followed up on other criticisms of this post and found out that it is not mandatory for heat pumps to have ZigBees or “demand response functionality”  in NZ (despite the statements on the website of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment; see below for the reference.)  However, there are heat pumps that are registered as being for suitable for use in NZ and Australia that do have “demand response functionality”.  This “demand response functionality” allows for the heat pumps to be turned down to their lowest setting, rather than be turned off. 

I will be writing a new post that explores these issues and give references so that you can find out whether your heat pump is one that may be able to be controlled remotely by your electricity company in a new post as as soon as I have time.  In the meantime, I have added Editor’s notes to the post below to correct the errors. If you would like to be notified when the new post has been written, please join the email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz.

 

Who controls your heat pump…You?…Or your electricity company?

Do you have a heat pump in your home? I bet you appreciate its reliable warmth, especially when NZ is in the grip of a southerly that has come straight up from the Antarctic.

However, if you have a “smart meter” in or on your home, don’t count on always being able to enjoy that wonderful warmth….even if you always pay your bill on time.

Why not? Because your electricity or lines company may be able to turn off your heat pump remotely. [Ed note:  Actually the electricity or lines company may be able to turn your heat pump down, rather than shut it off altogether.  See Ed note of August 28, above.]

Smart meters which are fitted with a ZigBee communications chip have the ability to “talk” to “smart” appliances – and since 2011, according to a document on the website of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment heat pumps in NZ have been required to be “smart”.* [Ed note:  There is actually no such requirement at this stage, despite the statement on the website of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment; see Ed note of August 28, above].

Not all smart meters in NZ contain ZigBee chips at this point;  in fact, to the best of my knowledge most smart meters that have been installed to date here do not contain ZigBee chips.

However, the “smart boxes” being rolled out by WEL Networks Ltd in the Waikato and the Landis+Gyr E350 series smart meters being rolled out by Network Tasman Ltd, Counties Power and some other companies that are part of the SmartCo consortium do contain ZigBees.  (The ZigBees are part of the Silver Spring model 454 Network Interface Card (NIC) which the meters use to send information back to the lines company and/or electricity retailer. The default setting of the ZigBee part of the Network Interface Card is claimed to be “off”.  However, it may only be a matter of time before the ZigBee is turned on.  I have no information regarding how the ZigBee can be turned on;  it is possible this may be able to be done remotely.)

The Labour party would like to see all smart meters fitted with ZigBees: see http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/labour-party-2014-election-questionnaire/

(Please note that the Labour party is one of many parties that support smart meters in general;  see the 2014 Election Questionnaire from www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz if you want to learn about other parties  that support smart meters http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/category/2014-election-questionnaire/.

If you have a smart meter that contains a ZigBee, your power or lines company may therefore potentially be able to switch off your heat pump remotely. [Ed note:  Actually the electricity or lines company may be able to turn your heat pump down, rather than shut it off altogether. See Ed note of August 28, above.] Of course it’s done in the name of managing energy better, of course; but what may be great for your lines company may not be so wonderful for you. (Goodbye cosy warmth.)

If you do not yet have a smart meter, count yourself lucky;  you control your appliances; your lines or electricity company cannot switch them off  [or otherwise interfere with their operation] when you least expect it – or most need them.

 

 

Please see this link for information on how to keep your home “smart meter”-free.  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/faqs/how-to-avoid-getting-a-smart-meter/ )

 

PS: Interested in learning how smart meters can affect your electricity bills?  Read this post:

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/faqs/how-to-avoid-getting-a-smart-meter/

 

*According to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s  “Analysis of submissions on Smart meters: How households and the environment can benefit Briefing for Commerce Committee: “From 2011 in New Zealand, all new heat-pumps will be “smart”. New heat pumps will be required by the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) to have “demand response functionality”. This means they will be able to “talk to” a HAN. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is looking at extending this requirement to more appliances.”

SOURCE LINK:  http://www.pce.parliament.nz/assets/Uploads/Reports/pdf/Smart_meters_submission_web.pdf

(NB: Even if there is no “smart meter” in the home, appliances which contain the ZigBee communications unit may still produce microwave radiation at  in an attempt to communicate with a non-existent “smart meter”, so if buying new appliances, it is prudent to avoid those that are marketed as being “smart” if you do not want to unnecessarily expose yourself to RFR in the microwave range.)

 

2014 Election Questionnaire: General Discussion

The purpose of this post is to discuss some of the issues raised in the responses to the 2014 Election Questionnaire.

It is intended to give an overview of the issues with “smart meters” for readers who are new to this subject and/or this website.  (Please note that if you would like updates on the “smart meter” issue you are welcome to sign up for the free email newsletter at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz.)

The list of questions in the www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Election Questionnaire were designed to help educate politicians about the “smart meter” issue, including the fact that the meters produce radiofrequency radiation in the microwave range which is considered a possible carcinogen (class 2B)  to transmit information about electricity use (see: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/health-issues/ )   and also have adverse effects on people’s privacy, for example: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/network-tasman-there-are-no-privacy-concerns-with-smart-meters-yeah-right/ .

Another important issue is that electricity companies have reportedly been bullying customers to try to make people who do not want “smart meters” to accept them (see:  www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/is-your-electricity-company-bullying-you/     .  Moreover some companies are  trying to use Terms and Conditions to try to intimidate customers into accepting “smart meters” – with the stated or implied threat that their power could be cut off if they do not agree to a “smart meter” installation. (See:www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-meter-installed-without-permission-headaches-result-smart-meter-removed-headaches-disappear/ )

It is also of concern that it can be a very difficult and time consuming process for customers to get rid of “smart meters” once they have been installed, even if they are causing health problems. (Personal communications.) A lot of meters in NZ are on bedroom walls and this site has potential to cause substantial exposure to EMR from a “smart meter”.

There are a lot of myths being promulgated about “smart meters” by the electricity industry. These include  claims that “smart meters” help people save money. While this may be true in some cases, many people have higher bills after a “smart meter” installations (see:  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/huge-bill-increase-after-smart-meter-installed/ ) and if time-of-use pricing is widely introduced higher bills are likely to become a fact of life for everyone – see: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/how-smart-meters-can-lead-to-higher-bills/ and   www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/the-advantages-of-smart-meters/ )

Another myth been pushed by the electricity industry is that “smart meters” are a safe technology even though they produce  non-ionising radiation which has been classed as a possible carcinogen.  The electricity industry frequently refers customers who express concern about the safety of “smart meters” to a document produced by the Electrical Power Engineering Centre (EPEC) at the University of Canterbury.  You can read a critique of this document at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/report-on-health-and-safety-aspects-of-electricity-smart-meters-debunked/

Some political parties also support the introduction of “smart” water meters which i a concern given that the “smart” water meters which are being trialled in NZ produce a radiofrequency radiation pulse every eight seconds.  See http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-water-meters-in-nz-the-situation-so-far/

The answers (or public statements) made by the representatives of some political parties suggest that some politicians have bought the corporate line that “smart meters” will help people save money and are somehow a safe technology – even though they produce possibly carcinogenic radiation, and all over the world where wireless “smart meters” have been installed, people have been reporting a variety of adverse health effects. (For some examples of common “smart meter”-associated symptoms please see: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/survey-of-people-adversely-affected-by-smart-meters/ )

 

Please bear these thoughts in mind when you read the responses from the different political parties to the www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Election Questionnaire. Thank you.

The text of the 2014 Election Questionnaire and links to all political parties’ replies may be found at this link:

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/2014-election-questionnaire-2/