The Timaru Herald has reported that South Canterbury company lines  Alpine Energy plans to roll out 36,000 “smart meters” to it customers beginning in 2014.

The company has received permission from the Commerce Commission to increase prices by 10% to fund new capital expenditure, presumably that  involved in purchasing and installing the “smart meters”.

According to the paper:

“The project, which includes installing the infrastructure and other programming, is expected to cost $14 million – or about $388 per meter – but neither Contact nor Meridian Energy would say whether the increased costs would be reflected in people’s power bills. Alpine Energy will own the meters.”

The full story may be read at this link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/9025489/Powercos-quiet-on-meter-cost

(By comparison, a new electromechanical meter can be purchased for around $NZ50.)

If you are in the South Canterbury area and do not want to have a  “smart meter”, please visit this link of the site:  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/how-to-avoid-getting-a-smart-meter/

After a “smart meter” has been installed it can be very difficult to have it removed, so if you do not want a “smart meter”  please take steps to avoid its installation.

Please also sign up for the email list on www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz so that you can receive updates on the “smart meter” issue.

NB:  If you are in the South Canterbury area and would like to organise a screening of the documentary Take Back Your Power to help inform people in your community about the “smart meter” issue, please email through this link http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/ and you will be given information  and support.