Website editor’s note: The following report comes from Whangarei journalist Clare Swinney. (To find out more about Clare’s recent work on the smart meter issue, including measuring smart meter emissions, please type “Clare Swinney” (without the speech marks) into the search box at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz.)
Northland Woman Successfully Stopped Company From Installing A Smart Meter
I have been hearing repeatedly that Meridian insists that their customers must “upgrade” to a smart meter, or find another power provider. This evidently is not true in all cases.
An elderly lady who lives in Tutukaka, Northland phoned and advised the following on the 25th of March, 2016:
She got a letter from her power provider, Meridian on the 5th of February, 2016, which is attached. It was a standard letter, sent to advise customers that Meridian was “upgrading” meters in the area and that hers was scheduled for replacement. It mentioned that this “upgrade” was to improve service and ensure that her meter was “certified and compliant.”
As she did not want a smart meter, she contacted Meridian and asked if the new meters were mandatory. The Meridian agent whom she spoke to told her that they were not, so she replied that she did not want one. The Meridian employee then tried to sell the virtues of the new meters, also referred to as “advanced” meters, and advised that her current meter may not be read monthly, but only once every 2-3 months if she didn’t get a new one. She told the Meridian employee that this was quite acceptable to her. The Meridian employee also advised that a “smart” meter would be installed anyway when the current meter’s certification lapses.
She checked on her meter box and to her jubilation she saw that it was last certified in December, 2014, meaning that the certification would not expire until 2029. She advised Meridian.
(Ed note: If your meter box is not easy to access, sending an email to the Electricity Authority is another way of finding out when your meter’s certification is due to expire. You can find out more about this by clicking HERE.)
She recently noticed that her neighbors had had smart meters installed, but fortunately, she still has her old analogue meter.
She said she was upset that “smart” meters were putting hundreds of meter readers out of work and when it was mentioned to her that the radiofrequency radiation emitting from them may affect bees, she said that her son, who lived on an adjoining property, had had two hives, but one had died. She did not know if this had anything to do with the “smart” meter installed on his property or not.
Smart meters are not compulsory in NZ
While some staff from some electricity retailers have reportedly made claims to the effect that smart meters are compulsory or some sort of goverment requirement, it is NOT compulsory to have a smart meter in NZ and if you already have a smart meter you can ask your electricity retailer to organise for the smart meter to be removed. Another possible option is for the modem and any ZigBee chip in the smart meter (these are the parts of a smart meter which produce pulses of RF radiation*) to be removed.
You can read about this option at 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/
Many people in NZ are saying “NO” to smart meters
If you do not already have a smart meter, and do If you do not want to expose yourself to the potential risks of smart meters, which include health and fire risks, as well as higher bills, you may like to read this link to find out about how other New Zealanders are successfully preventing smart meters from being installed at their homes and businesses.
You can read a summary of why many people are saying no to smart meters HERE.
NB: If you would like to keep up to date with information about the “smart” meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz. Thank you