If you live in the Invercargill area and don’t want a smart meter, here is good news

If you live in the Invercargill area and don’t want a smart meter, there is good news in a new document* on the website of the Electricity Authority.

 

According to the document:

“As of 21 May 2015, in total 26,000 category 1 metering installations (Electricity Invercargill was responsible for 7,546, and TPC [The Power Company] for 18,454) had expired interim certification.”

 

The Electricity Authority wants customers in these areas to have certified metering and has required Electricity Invercargill and The Power Company to come up with a plan to achieve this.

Part of this plan includes installing non-smart meters for customers who have refused to have a smart meter installed!

Quoting from the document Electricity Invercargill and The Power Company [TPC] agree to:

 

“(a) take all practicable steps to achieve compliance as fast as possible, preferably by 14 December 2016. To achieve this outcome, Electricity Invercargill and TPC commit to taking the following actions:
(i) certifying all non-compliant ICPs regardless of suitability for an AMI meter, including using alternative certified meters or moving the metering point where customers are refusing permission to install electronic/AMI meters;”  [Emphasis added]

 

So a big thank you is due to everyone in this area who has refused a smart meter so far (and helped on the campaign in other ways, such as by running screenings of Take Back Your Power.)

Your actions have helped to make a difference.

 

If you are in the Invercargill area and if your electricity retailer informs you that your meter’s certification has lapsed, you can tell the company that you are happy to have your meter changed – as long as it is to a properly certified non-smart meter.

 

(NB:  If your electricity company offers you a smart meter with its transmission capacity disabled, please see this link so you are aware of the pros and cons of this option: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/comparing-analogue-ferraris-meters-with-smart-meters-which-have-had-the-modem-removed/)

 

Meridian and Powershop joined the investigation that preceded this settlement agreement so both these companies will be aware that the agreement directs Electricity Invercargill and The Power Company to install non smart meters for customers who do not want smart meters.

 

NB If you would like to keep up to date with the smart meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Thank you

 

 

* SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
Regulation 24(1) Electricity Industry (Enforcement) Regulations 2010

DATED:
BETWEEN:
(1) The Power Company Limited of 251 Racecourse Road, Invercargill, (TPC);
(2) Electricity Invercargill Limited of 251 Racecourse Road, Invercargill, (Electricity Invercargill);
(3) Electricity Authority in its role of the market administrator under the Electricity Industry Act 2010, of 2 Hunter Street, Wellington, (market administrator);
(4) Meridian Energy Limited of 33 Customhouse Quay, Wellington (Meridian); and
(5) Powershop New Zealand Limited of 43 Hanson Street, Wellington (Powershop)

 

NB If you would like to keep up to date with the smart meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Thank you

 

The Electricity Authority’s settlement with Alpine Energy regarding its uncertified meters and what this means for consumers in NZ

The Electricity Authority Requires that Meters Have Valid Certification

As this website has previously stated, the Electricity Authority (EA) requires that companies in the electricity industry make sure that their customers’ meters are certified. (The EA does NOT require companies to install smart meters.) A lot of meters in NZ had their certification expire on April 1, 2015. (See this link for details: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/april-1-deadline-for-electricity-meter-certification/

This included about 55% of the “category 1” meters owned by Alpine Energy, a lines company in the South Island according to a document on the EA’s website.

Realising that some of its meters where the certification was expiring were not were not going to be replaced in time to meet the EA deadline, according to this document, Alpine Energy initiated a sampling programme to test its meters’ accuracy.

Some meters were found to be inaccurate but the EA document reports “However, the parties consider the impact is minor.”

To ensure that its meters are compliant in the future, Alpine Energy has made a number of undertakings to the EA, including:

Quoting from the EA document:

“7. Settlement 7.1 Alpine agrees to: (a) take all practicable steps to achieve compliance as fast as possible, preferably by 24 December 2016. To achieve this outcome, Alpine commits to taking the following actions: (i) certifying all non-compliant metering installations regardless of suitability for an AMI meter, by using any compliant meters or moving the metering point where customers are refusing permission to install electronic/AMI meters;
(ii) prioritising the replacement of uncertified metering installations in areas where there is a high concentration of uncertified metering installations;

Quote from the document again:

‘e….If the trader at the metering installation does not arrange reasonable access, and Alpine has made all reasonable efforts to meet the trader’s access requirement, then that metering installation is removed from the counts if Alpine alleges a breach against the trader. This is so Alpine is not penalised for the trader’s failure to arrange access, if the customer refuses access, or for safety issues for which the customer is responsible;

Implications for Consumers

My interpretation (and please note that I am not a lawyer) is that this document is very good news for NZ consumers.

It suggests to me that if you live in the part of the South lsland where Alpine Energy owns the meters you are in a very strong position to refuse a smart meter if one is offered to you. Assuming I have correctly interpreted the text of the settlement agreement there will be NO PENALTY for Alpine Energy if any meters that it owns remains out of certification because its customers refuse to have a smart meter installed.

Moreover, under the circumstances, Alpine may agree to install an “analogue” meter instead of a smart meter. (NB: A true electromechanical analogue meter is called a Ferraris meter meter). Some companies in NZ have been describing a variety of electronic meters as “analogue” meters. (If you clarify that a Ferraris meter is the type of meter that you want, you may be told that Ferraris meters are not available; if this is the case you could offer to buy one and have Contact Energy’s technician fit it for you. There are certified Ferraris meters on the NZ market and they cost around $100.)

it is possible that you may be offered a smart meter without its transmission modem and you can read about this option at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/comparing-analogue-ferraris-meters-with-smart-meters-which-have-had-the-modem-removed/

Alpine Energy’s smart meter roll out is managed by SmnartCo and it looks from an image on the Alpine Energy’s website that the type of meters that Smart Co wants to install on behalf of Alpine Energy is a Landis+Gyr brand smart meter on a mesh network that has been reported to cause unpleasant symptoms and even interfere with the performance of a nearby computer. (See this link for details: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/headaches-disappear-after-comms-device-removed-from-smart-meter/

A Victory for Everyone Involved in the Smart Meter Resistance Movement

I see the EA’s decision not to penalise Alpine Energy (if customers whose meter are owned by Alpine Energy refuse a smart meter) as a victory for everyone who has been helping with the campaign against smart meters. There a large number of New Zealanders who have refused to have a smart meter installed at their homes and businesses. Many people around NZ have also helped on the campaign against smart meters in many other ways, such as by running community screenings of the award-winning smart meter documentary Take Back Your Power, sharing information via Facebook, handing out leaflets at public events etc.

Everyone in NZ who has refused to have a smart meter installed at their home or business because of the potential health, fire, privacy and financial risks of these so-called “smart” meters is helping to make a difference. Thank you, everyone!

The link to the document on the EA website will be added here as soon as the EA website is back online.

if you would like to keep up to date with the smart meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Thank you.

What the Electricity Authority’s settlement with Contact regarding its uncertified meters means for consumers in NZ

The Electricity Authority Requires that Meters Have Valid Certification

As this website has previously stated, the Electricity Authority (EA) requires that companies in the electricity industry make sure that their customers’ meters are certified. (The EA does NOT require companies to install smart meters.) A lot of meters in NZ had their certification expire on April 1, 2015. (See this link for details: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/april-1-deadline-for-electricity-meter-certification/

This included some meters owned by Contact Energy, according to a document on the EA’s website. Realising that some of its meters where the certification was expiring were not were not going to be replaced in time to meet the EA deadline, according to this document, Contact initiated a sampling programme to test its meters’ accuracy.

Quoting from the EA document:

The results of the statistical sampling showed the vast majority of these meters are within the prescribed variance. However, the results also showed a bias towards running slowly during times of low load, with only a few meters marginally outside the level of tolerance for meters running fast. When tested at high load the sample results appeared more accurate.”

(This is good news for consumers, in my opinion, as it shows that most older meters owned by Contact Energy are reasonably accurate.)

Among other undertakings, Contact has agreed to fix its problem with meters having had their certification expire by doing the following:

“7.1 a (i) certifying all non-compliant ICPs regardless of suitability for an AMI meter, including sourcing small form factor meters and relays for use where an AMI meter will not physically fit or using “analogue” meters or moving the metering point where customers are refusing permission to install electronic/AMI meters;

“7.1 d If the trader at the metering installation does not arrange reasonable access, and Contact has made all reasonable efforts to meet the trader’s access requirement, then that metering installation is removed from the counts if Contact alleges a breach against the trader. This is so Contact is not penalised for the trader’s failure to arrange access, if the customer refuses access, or for safety issues for which the customer is responsible;”

Implications for Consumers

My interpretation (and please note that I am not a lawyer) is that this document is very good news for NZ consumers.

It suggests to me that if you are a customer of Contact Energy or the meter at your home or business is owned by Contact Energy, you can refuse to get a smart meter if one is offered to you. Assuming I have correctly interpreted the text of the settlement agreement there will be NO PENALTY for Contact if any meters that it owns remains out of certification because its customers refuse to have a smart meter installed.

NB: If you do not know what company owns the meter at your home you can ask your electricity retailer or email the Electricity Authority (include your ICP number and address) if you email the EA and ask what company owns the meter.

Moreover, under the circumstances, Contact Energy may agree to install an “analogue” meter instead of a smart meter. (A true electromechanic analogue meter is called a Ferraris meter meter). Some companies in NZ have been describing a variety of electronic meters as “analogue: meters. (If you clarify that a Ferraris meter is the type of meter that you want, you may be told that Ferraris meters are not available; if this is the case you could offer to buy one and have Contact Energy’s technician fit it for you. There are certified Ferraris meters on the NZ market and they cost around $100.)

it is possible that you may be offered a smart meter without its transmission modem and you can read about this option at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/comparing-analogue-ferraris-meters-with-smart-meters-which-have-had-the-modem-removed/

A Victory for Everyone Involved in the Smart Meter Resistance Movement

I see the EA’s decision not to penalise Contact Energy if its customers (or customers whose meters are owned by Contact Emnergy) refuse a smart meter as a victory for everyone who has been helping with the campaign against smart meters.

Every New Zealander who has refused to have a smart meter installed at their home or business (and I know that there are a lot of us out there) because of the potential health, fire, privacy and financial risks of these so-called “smart” meters is helping to make a difference.

The link to the document on the EA website will be added here as soon as the EA website is back online.

if you would like to keep up to date with the smart meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Thank you

Advanced Meters DO NOT pose any risk to [people’s] health, finances, or privacy – electricity company employee

The headline for this post (“Advanced Meters DO NOT pose any risk to [people’s] health, finances, or privacy – Graeme Purches”) is a slightly edited quote from an message that I received today (August 5, 2015) from Graeme Purches. (The only editing I did was the substitution of the word [people] in place of a pronoun.)

I strongly disagree Mr Purches’ assertions but thought the [slightly edited] quote would make a catchy headline.

If you have read the recent posts on of www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz the name Graeme Purches may be familiar to you as he did not appreciate a recent post that I wrote.

You can read that post here: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/otago-daily-times-reports-no-emissions-from-smart-meters-according-to-electricity-company-representative/

Mr Purches sent some comments to me following that post (which I used for the basis of another post which you can read here: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/electricity-company-employee-insists-smart-meters-have-benefits-for-consumers/  )

Sadly, Graeme Purches seems no happier with the post in which I discussed the advantages of smart meters.

I received the following comments below earlier today:  Mr Purches’s comments included quotes from my post, which I have left in standard text;  I have put Mr Purches’s new comments in italics so that you can tell it was written by him.

Where I have commented on Mr Purches’s latest comments I have underlined the text.

I have edited the text of Mr Purches’s comment to remove any typos that I noticed.  I also removed the text discussing ultrasound in pregnancy and possible increased risk of non-right handedness as the post to which Mr Purches was responding had not mentioned ultrasound. (He and I had had a brief email exchange on the topic of ultrasound.  I have appended Mr Purches comments on the link that I sent him to a paper discussing ultrasound and increased risk of non righthandedness to the end of this post.)

 

Katherine

I think you should post this on your front page.

If you cannot, then I think some of us will have to start an alternative website to balance the argument:

Electricity company employee insists smart meters have benefits for consumers As regular visitors to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz may have noticed, there are no comments at the end of posts. This is due to lack of time to moderate comments. (The site has a Contact Form so that people who need help with smart meter related problems can get assistance.) I did receive an interesting comment from Graeme Purches, Trust Power’s community relations manager in response to the post at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/otago-daily-times-reports-no-emissions-from-smart-meters-according-to-electricity-company-representative/

The comment expressed disappointment that www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz was purportedly providing inaccurate information. (I have sent an email to Mr Purches and invited him to point out any factual inaccuracies on the website because I do strive for accuracy when compiling site content.)*

* I received a polite reply to that email but no examples of any factual inaccuracies in the content of www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz.

The comment also expressed frustration that the post mentioned the advantages that smart meters offer to the electricity without mentioning that, in Graeme Purches’ opinion, smart meters also offer advantages to consumers.

Quoting from the post, the advantages to the electricity industry from smart meters that I mentioned were the following; “…allowing electricity retailers or lines companies to take control of appliances in a home via a smart meter and also making it possible for companies to charge more for electricity at different times of the day…great for profits…not great for consumers…please see these links for details: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/could-a-smart-meter-mean-you-are-miserably-cold-during-winter/ and https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/what-is-time-of-use-tou-pricing-and-how-could-it-affect-you/

In fairness to Mr Purches, the advantages to consumers from smart meters (that he included in his comment) are the following:

“Why was there no mention of the fact that Advanced meters also allow electricity companies to sell power at lower prices at times of the day or during periods when electricity prices are lower than average? No advantages for consumers? No meter readers calling, more accurate bills, accurate information about their electricity use which enables them to plan better and make savings…. the list of advantages for consumers goes on.”

Mr Purches’ comments are interesting because at no time in the post in question did I state that there were no advantages to consumers from smart meters. I simply stated some key reasons (in my opinion) why the electricity industry is so keen on installing smart meters, that is the ability to charge more for electricity at different times of the day and to be able to control customers’ appliances. (Lowering labour costs by being able to lay-off meter readers is another advantage for the industry.)

Katherine, you did not say NO ADVANTAGES, but equally, at no time in the post did you acknowledge that Smart Meters (as you call them) DO OFFER ANY ADVANTAGES to consumers!

The industry already has the ability to control hot water heating and night store heating, if, the customer has chosen (yes – it is the consumer’s choice!) to be on a controlled tariff for those items. This controlled tariff allows the company to turn those items off at times when prices are high, and pass those saving on to the customers. It also allows network companies to reduce load at peak demand, which means they do not have to invest in larger lines and transformers, which results in line charges being able to be held at lower levels.

I have absolutely no problem with people choosing to have controlled hot water heating using the traditional “ripple control” system method which has been used for decades in NZ.  I think this is a very sensible way of managing peak demand for power.

If consumers haven’t opted for a “controlled” option for water and night store heating, they are charged an “averaged” rate, which takes into account the peaks and troughs in spot market pricing. For many people, this means they are paying more than they need to for their electricity. Smart meters give consumer who have the ability to do so the option to make choices about when they use their power, therefore reducing costs.

It is currently a legal requirement, that regardless of meter, consumers must be given the option to have an averaged price. So just because they have an Advanced Meter, does not mean they are automatically exposed to variable pricing.

I never stated that a smart meter meant that people were automatically exposed to variable (or TOU) pricing. I said that a smart meter faciliated the use of  Time of Use pricing and that these types of tariffs could potentially significantly increase electricity bills for people who need to use electricity at the times when it is most expensive.

It is also my belief that the electricity industry would not be spending the very large amounts of money that it is spending on installing smart meters if it did not expect to benefit financially from this expenditure.

This is your belief Katherine, and it is right. Of course the industry expects to benefit financially, thanks to a reduction in operating costs due to simpler automated handling of consumption data, and easier integration of consumption information into billing systems. At the same time, large numbers of the old style meters are reaching the end of their life cycle, and the cost of either replacing them with the same style of meter or having them re-tested for compliance is little different to replacing them with an Advanced Meter.

Certainly, smart (or “advanced”) as Mr Purches terms them, meters, allow companies to charge less for electricity at some “times of the day” (or when “electricity prices are lower than average”, as he states.) However, overseas the “Time of Use” (ToU) pricing plans made possible by smart meters can mean that people may pay twice as much for electricity at peak times than they do at times of lower demand. I see this as an advantage for the electricity industry, not ordinary households. (For example, see http://www.hydroone.com/TOU/Pages/Default.aspx)

This is very misleading Katherine. Time of Use or TOU is the term not only “overseas” but here in New Zealand where it describes commercial metering, often on larger industrial or business sites, using TOU meters – not residential meters.

I dispute the claim that TOU is a term that applies only to commercial metering installations.  Time of Use pricing plans are used in NZ  and TOU is a term that is used in NZ in relation to domestic electricity pricing plans. 

For an example, see this link:  https://www.powerswitch.org.nz/powerswitch/site-info/powerswitch-faqs/pricing-plans

The businesses opting for TOU do so because on average they pay less for their electricity than on a normal fixed rate tariff, thanks to them having the flexibility to reduce load when prices go high. I am not aware of any large retailer applying TOU pricing to residential customers, although a couple of small start-up companies have begun offering this, and it is increasing in popularity.

While theoretically, it is possible to use ToU pricing to save money (for example by doing some electricity-hungry tasks at off-peak periods) this will not work for many people who are at work during the day and need to sleep at night. So-called “smart” appliances that could be programmed to do tasks at off-peak times (and/or can be controlled by a “smart” meter) may be much too expensive for low income households, especially working families who have the most to lose from ToU pricing.

This is also misleading. There is no theoretically about it – this is real. For example, retired folk that are home in the middle of the day would be able to do their washing, wash their dishes in a dish washer, pre-prepare an evening meal, view TV programmes they have recorded overnight in front of a heater in winter etc because electricity prices are generally cheaper in the mid-portion (11am – 3pm) part of the day, than earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon or evening. A quick visit to Harvey Norman or Noel Leeming will show that more than half of the new washing machines and clothes driers can now be programmed to start and stop – something that, other than delaying the start for an hour or so, wasn’t possible a couple of years ago. Other appliances such as dishwashers etc. are now coming out with the same features.

I believe that my point that working households who cannot afford new appliances and need to use electricity for cooking, heating their home, bathing children etc. on winter evenings have a lot to lose from the introduction of TOU pricing is still valid, even if people who are retired and spend their days at home may be able to cook etc. during the day when electricity may be cheaper than at a peak time.

“Smart” appliances also add to the microwave radiation level in the home environment.

(For this reason, they are not a smart choice, in my opinion.)

I am pleased you said “your opinion”. The more valid (in my opinion) opinion of reputable experts from Universities and others that have studied this in depth, using scientific measurement, differs.

Actually, there are a large number of scientists who recently petitioned the United Nations for better regulation of EMR because of the large body of research showing adverse biological effects from levels of microwave radiation that are permissible within many national standards. 

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/emf-scientists-appeal-to-united-nations-for-better-safety-standards-for-non-ionising-radiation/

Sadly,  NZ’s national standard for microwave radiation is among the most lax in the world.  NZ2772.1:1999 is designed only to prevent thermal injury, shocks and sudden death.

For more information see this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/read-an-environmental-lawyers-perspective-on-proposed-changes-to-regulation-of-electromagnetic-radiation/

And the appliances I have just mentioned above do not contain the Smart Technology you are referring to.

I hope Mr Purches is correct in this statement.

If you have a heat pump and want to know if it can be controlled via a smart meter, please see this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/could-a-smart-meter-mean-you-are-miserably-cold-during-winter/

Graeme Purches seems to think that not having a meter reader visit your home is an advantage.

Personally, I would much rather a meter reader have a job than have a smart meter blasting out pulses of microwave radiation to send information about electricity use. I know that many other New Zealanders feel the same way.

Again, I am pleased you have added the rider “personally”. Trustpower receives regular feedback about how much many people appreciate our meter readers, and the human face they bring.

Yes, it’s shame how many nice people risking losing their jobs if other people uncritically accept smart meters.

However, the electricity industry is under constant pressure to keep prices down, and it is an inescapable fact that moving to Advanced Meters will assist with that. The comment about smart meters “blasting out pulses of microwave radiation” is an example of emotive misinformation. Scientific evidence, as distinct from emotive opinion, does not support the use of terms such as “blasted”.

Some of the smart meters on the NZ market can expose people to pulses of microwave radiation that are millions of times higher than the estimated natural (pre-industrial) microwave radiation level.  I think under the circumstances “blasting” is quite an appropriate term.

For information about different smart meters’ microwave radiation outputs, please see these links:

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/is-the-wel-smart-box-a-health-hazard/

 https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/how-much-radiation-does-the-smart-meter-at-your-home-produce/

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/does-the-modem-for-this-smart-meter-produce-more-radiation-than-is-legal-in-nz/

Another type of meter (it looks from the photo to be an Elster gREX smart meter) was measured as producing 1,360,000 microwatts per square metre.

See:  http://www.organicnz.org.nz/node/501

 

And the term microwave radiation is also being used emotively by you in this argument. You may be interested to know that I am one of thousands of kiwis now wearing hearing aids that have bluetooth technology which allows the aids in each ear to communicate with each other (though my head), as well as with the TV set and a range of other devices. None of us have died or become ill as a result of this yet.

Personal experience of  using a new technology without any obvious  adverse effects on health is not the best way to judge whether or not the technology may be safe or unsafe.  For start, people do vary in their tolerance of electromagnetic radiation.  Being able to use a technology without experiencing symptoms does not mean that the device is harmless.  There may be a long latency period before any adverse effects are apparent,

Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes significantly increases the risk of developing lung cancer but typically it takes decades before smokers develop lung cancer – and many smokers do not develop lung cancer despite smoking heavily all their lives.

Thousands upon thousands of us have children and grandchildren who have for years now had baby monitors sitting beside their cot, in some cases not only relaying sound, but transmitting warning of breathing stops thanks to sensors in the mattress. This has prevented cot deaths – not caused them!

I did not state that there was any relationship between baby monitors and cot death.

I will state, for the record, that if I had a baby, I would not be using a wireless baby monitor.

Dr Magda Havas petitioned her government to issue a health risk regarding wireless baby monitors due to the risks from the microwave radiation. See:  http://www.magdahavas.com/health-canada-needs-to-issue-warning-about-wireless-baby-monitors/

And then there are the potential health effects from smart meters to consider. The electricity industry would like you to believe that there are no health risks from smart meters. (You can read about potential health issues with smart meters at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/health-issues/ )

Really? This link is your emotive website Katherine. How about giving people direct links, and highlighting them, to the wealth of credible scientific rather than emotive information available from reputable sources that disagree with what you promote?

The link www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/health-issues/ includes links to many other sources of information, including peer reviewed papers.

And please, please, please, put these links on your front page of your website, and highlight them, so we can get some balance in this. 

Based on previous correspondence, I think the links that Mr Purches was referring to was a link to the following:

1) The EPEC report (you can read a critique of the EPEC report by Don Maisch, PhD at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/report-on-health-and-safety-aspects-of-electricity-smart-meters-debunked/ – and this link also has a link to the EPEC website)

2) The report on a Landis+Gyr smart meter (that is being marketed to the public by WEL Ltd. as a “smart box”) at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/is-the-wel-smart-box-a-health-hazard/

It’s quite clear to me that Mr Purches and I do have quite different perspectives on the smart meter issue.

He’s paid to promote them.

Actually, my profession is communication, and it is my job to try and encourage balanced debate so that rational rather than emotive decision making can occur. Interestingly, I am a signatory to a professional code of ethics. Yes I get paid, but I presume you don’t, and if that is the case, I am sorry, but that simply doesn’t make you any more credible than me Katherine.

I (like many other public spirited people) volunteer my time to help New Zealanders understand the potential risks to their health, finances and privacy posed by this new (and unnecessary) technology.

Sorry Katherine – let me clarify this for readers by rewriting from my side of the fence.

I, like many professional people, get paid to help people.

Personally, I do not think that making statements to the effect that smart meters do not have health, privacy or financial risks actually constitutes helping people.

Especially not when many people have suffered awful symptoms after smart meter installations – for example, this lady: http://stopsmartmeters.com.au/2014/03/26/sofias-story-punitive-power-and-the-smart-meter-tyranny/

Some cases of New Zealanders who have allowed for their stories of smart meter related illness to be shared on this website may be found at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/category/user-feedback/

The list of people who are also paid to help people includes doctors, nurses, teachers, policemen, lawyers, and accountants.

In some cases, I help people by passing on the results of research so that people can make their own judgements, about whether to believe opinion, or fact.

If by “research” Mr Purches is  referring to the EPEC report (covered in this post and the report on the test results for the WEL smart box (covered in this post ) I would like to point out that both the EPEC report and the WEL smart box test results have the potential to mislead people who do not realise that the regulations that govern EMR emissions in NZ are lax. 

People who read the EPEC report and WEL smart box test results who do not realise that compliance with the New Zealand’s standard NZS2772.1:1999 is intended to prevent thermal injury, shocks and sudden death ONLY may assume that smart meters are safe because their emissions are lower than allowed under NZS2772.1:1999.

In this case I am doing this to help prevent people being misled by well-meaning but misguided folk, and help them understand that Advanced Meters DO NOT pose any risk to their health, finances, or privacy, and that the implementation of this technology (well over half of all New Zealand homes now have it) will ultimately not only be to their benefit, but to the benefit of the people supplying it, the nation, and indeed the world – because it will allow more efficient use of electricity.

I completely dispute the claim that smart meters do not pose health, financial or privacy risks.

I offer the following links as a starting point for why smart meters do have health, privacy and financial risks.

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/health-issues/

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/category/privacy-2/

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/what-is-time-of-use-tou-pricing-and-how-could-it-affect-you/

 

Afterword

In conclusion, it does seem that Mr Purches and I will have to agree to disagree on the smart meter issue.  I have corresponded with Mr Purches off and on since December 2013. 

Our correspondence began after  I wrote to Trustpower (the company for which Mr Purches works) concerning the health risks of smart meters in the hope that the company would choose not to move to this technology.  (At the time that I wrote to Trustpower, it was the only large power company in NZ which had not begun to install smart meters in its customers’ homes. )

Mr Purches responded to my email on behalf of Trustpower, hence our correspondence.

An announcement on NZX on 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 )

 

 

Ultrasound discussion

 Comment excerpted from email from me (Katherine Smith) to Graeme Purches:

PS: Re the expectant father’s comments re ultrasound potentially causing left handedness;  there is some evidence that ultrasound exposure in utero may increase the chance that a child is not right handed.

See:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/uog.9055/pdf

 

Reply from Graeme Purches (in italics) and further comments in underlined type by Katherine Smith

I note you say “there is some evidence……”

Why do you not quote the summary from that report, which says:

“In conclusion, there is a weak statistically significant association between ultrasound screening and being nonright handed, but this does not mean that there must be a causal relationship. The current biological understanding of handedness is limited and partly contradictory of the epidemiological evidence. We will have to live with uncertainty regarding ultrasound safety in the years to come.”

 Do you really, seriously, believe that the statements “there is a weak statistically significant association”, “but this does not mean there must be a causal relationship”, “the current biological understanding of handness is limited and partly contradictory of the epidemiological evidence” are irrelevant here? Just because somebody has done some research on a topic because they wondered about something, and the research then proves inconclusive at best, doesn’t mean the original premise has to be taken as gospel! Sadly, this occurs too frequently on the stopsmartmeters web site.

Mr Purches’ comment that “inconclusive” research “doesn’t mean the original premise has to be taken as gospel”  does have some merit. 

In my email to him used the word “may” when referring to the paper that found a statistically significant relationship (albeit a weak one) between ultrasound exposure and increased risk of non righthandedness.  I did not mean to imply that there was definitely a causative relationship between ultrasound and the increased risk of non-right handedness.  (If I believed that there was definitely a causative relationship I would have said so.) 

Over the years, a body of evidence has accumulated that shows that prenatal ultrasound may not be the extremely safe pre-natal screening technique that it has largely been believed to be.  A thoughtful  discussion of this topic, written by a medical doctor, including links to further information may be read at this link:

http://sarahbuckley.com/ultrasound-scans-cause-for-concern

 

 

 

Electricity company employee insists smart meters have benefits for consumers

As regular visitors to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz may have noticed, there are no comments at the end of posts.  This is due to lack of time to moderate comments.  (The site has a Contact Form so that people who need help with smart meter related problems can get assistance.)

I did receive an interesting comment from Graeme Purches, Trust Power’s community relations manager in response to the post at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/otago-daily-times-reports-no-emissions-from-smart-meters-according-to-electricity-company-representative/

The comment expressed disappointment that  www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz  was purportedly providing inaccurate information.  (I have sent an email to Mr Purches and invited him to point out any factual inaccuracies on the website because I do strive for accuracy when compiling site content.) The comment also expressed frustration that the post mentioned the advantages that smart meters offer to the electricity without mentioning that, in Graeme Purches’ opinion, smart meters also offer advantages to consumers.

Quoting from the post, the advantages to the electricity industry from smart meters that I mentioned were the following;

…allowing electricity retailers or lines companies to take control of appliances in a home via a smart meter and also making it possible for companies to charge more for electricity at different times of the day…great for profits…not great for consumers…please see these links for details: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/could-a-smart-meter-mean-you-are-miserably-cold-during-winter/ and https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/what-is-time-of-use-tou-pricing-and-how-could-it-affect-you/

In fairness to Mr Purches, the advantages to consumers from smart meters (that he included in his comment) are the following:

“Why was there no mention of the fact that Advanced meters also allow electricity companies to sell power at lower prices at times of the day or during periods when electricity prices are lower than average? No advantages for consumers? No meter readers calling, more accurate bills, accurate information about their electricity use which enables them to plan better and make savings…. the list of advantages for consumers goes on.”

Mr Purches’ comments are interesting because at no time in the post in question did I state that there were no advantages to consumers from smart meters.  I simply stated some key reasons (in my opinion) why the electricity industry is so keen on installing smart meters, that is the ability to charge more for electricity at different times of the day and to be able to control customers’ appliances. (Lowering labour costs by being able to lay-off meter readers is another advantage for the industry.)

It is also my belief that the electricity industry would not be spending the very large amounts of money that it is spending on installing smart meters if it did not expect to benefit financially from this expenditure.

Certainly, smart (or “advanced”) as Mr Purches terms them, meters, allow companies to charge less for electricity at some “times of the day” (or when “electricity prices are lower than average”, as he states.)

However, overseas the “Time of Use” (ToU) pricing plans made possible by smart meters can mean that people may pay twice as much for electricity at peak times than they do at times of lower demand. I see this as an advantage for the electricity industry, not ordinary households. (For example, see http://www.hydroone.com/TOU/Pages/Default.aspx)

While theoretically, it is possible to use ToU pricing to save money (for example by doing some electricity-hungry tasks at off-peak periods) this will not work for many people who are at work during the day and need to sleep at night.  So-called “smart” appliances that could be programmed to do tasks at off-peak times (and/or can be controlled by a “smart” meter) may be much too expensive for low income households, especially working families who have the most to lose from ToU pricing.

“Smart” appliances also add to the microwave radiation level in the home environment.  (For this reason, they are not a smart choice, in my opinion.)

Graeme Purches seems to think that not having a meter reader visit your home is an advantage.

Personally, I would much rather a meter reader have a job than have a smart meter blasting out pulses of microwave radiation to send information about electricity use.  I know that many other New Zealanders feel the same way.

And then there are the potential health effects from smart meters to consider.  The electricity industry would like you to believe that there are no health risks from smart meters. (You can read about potential health issues with smart meters at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/health-issues/ )

It’s quite clear to me that Mr Purches and I do have quite different perspectives on the smart meter issue.

He’s paid to promote them.

I (like many other public spirited people) volunteer my time to help New Zealanders understand the potential risks to their health, finances and privacy  posed by this new (and unnecessary) technology.

 

NB:  If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up to the email newsletter on www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

 

Housing NZ promotes GloBug to tenants

In an exclusive article for The Daily Blog, Rachael Goldsmith expresses her dismay that NZ’s government owned rental housing provider, Housing New Zealand (or HNZ for short), which has a large number of low-income tenants, has included a promo for Mercury Energy’s  “Glo Bug” in its latest newsletter.  The “Glo Bug” is smart-meter facilitated prepay electricity system.  The “Glo Bug” has received substantial prior adverse publicity, mainly due to the fact that the device enables the company to cut off people’s electricity remotely with very little notice and because this pre-pay power system is more expensive for some customers than other electricity plans.

 

You can read about the GloBug at this link:  https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/do-you-have-a-globug-prepay-power-system/

 

You can read Rachael Goldsmith’s article here:

http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/07/15/exclusive-hnz-globug-combine-to-take-advantage-of-people-in-poverty/

The comments at this link are also interesting:

http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/07/15/exclusive-hnz-globug-combine-to-take-advantage-of-people-in-poverty/#comments

Template for making a submission on the proposed amendments to the National Environmental Standards for Telecommunications Facilities (NESTF)

There is currently a proposal to change the regulations that govern telecommunications infrastructure in NZ including both cable-based and wireless infrastructure.

If the proposed changes to the regulation of wireless infrastructure are not successfully opposed, they would result in the further proliferation of cellular phone infrastructure with potentially more people being impacted in terms of both adverse health effects and also other effects (for example a possible reduction in property values for home owners.)

The proposed changes are strongly opposed by environmental lawyer sue Grey who has made public the reasons that she opposes the proposed “amendments” at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/read-an-environmental-lawyers-perspective-on-proposed-changes-to-regulation-of-electromagnetic-radiation/

The consultation document may be downloaded from this link:

http://www.mfe.govt.nz/node/20520

If you would like to make a submission yourself, please download the template submission form from the link below, personalise it by adding your name etc, and any additional comments you may want to make and send it to the Ministry for the Environment (the email address is  standards@mfe.govt.nz) by 5 pm on Friday April 17, 2015.

Template submission in opposition to proposed amendments to the National Environmental Standards for Telecommunications Facilities

NB:  It has been kindly pointed out to me by an observant reader that the template at the above link has a typo.  I do apologise for this.

Where the template  it states NS2772.2:1999 it should read NZS 2772.1:1999.  If you have time please correct the typo prior to sending the submission.  Thank you!

 

OR

Use the template below which has already had the typo corrected:

Typo-Corrected Template submission in opposition to proposed amendments to the National Environmental Standards for Telecommunications Facilities

 

Thank you!

 

 

Thank you.

Stop Smart Meters NZ contribution to Tasmania’s draft energy strategy

In February 2015, I wrote a document on behalf of www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz in response to a request for public feedback on the Tasmanian government’s draft energy strategy.

The document summarises the problems that the roll out of smart meters has caused to New Zealanders and urges the State government of Tasmania (Australia) to eschew the use of smart meters.

The link to the document (in PDF format) is here:

http://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/98814/Stop_Smart_Meters_NZ_Submission.PDF

Stop Smart Meters Australia also contributed a thoughtful piece which focuses on the economic issues with smart meter deployments as well as health and privacy issues.  It may be read at this link:

http://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/98808/SSMA_Submission.PDF

 

The general link to submissions is here:

http://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/energy/strategy/submissions_received_in_response_to_the_draft_tasmanian_energy_strategy/submissions_received

Company removes smart meter after it was installed in error

Site editor’s note: This past week I received this report about how a smart meter was installed due to a communications error…The electricity retailer then arranged for its removal.  This may seem quite straightforward and normal customer service;  however, not every company in NZ removes smart meters when they have been installed due to communications breakdowns so it is always good to receive reports about companies doing the right thing by their customers.

The installation of the smart meter came about after Mum needed to get electrical work done to replace some old and dodgy wiring, and the local electrician doing the work said she really should get a new meter, but that meter installation had to be organised by the power supplier, which in her case was Trustpower. They in turn contracted the installation to Delta.

Mum was very clear about not wanting a smart meter and showed the electrician the articles in Organic NZ and The NZ Journal of Natural Medicine, and he was very interested. He said he thought that there would be a non-smart meter available, and that he would arrange it with Trustpower. Somewhere along the line the communication didn’t work and a smart meter was installed.

She was very angry and told the electrician and Trustpower that they had gone against her request, even after they had promised (verbally) to install a non-smart meter. Nothing happened for about a month and then they rang up and came to replace it with a “Legacy” meter.

I might add that the meter is in the hall on the other side of the wall from her bedroom. Trustpower said it would only be transmitting for a very short period each day (in the middle of the night, I think).

 

Site editor’s note: Regarding the claim that the meter would transmit only for a short period each day, this is a common statement made by many companies. Independent in-use testing of smart meters in NZ has shown very different types of microwave radiation emission profiles from as often as once every eight seconds, to as infrequently as once every eight hours. However, not all makes and models of smart meters installed in homes and businesses in NZ  have yet been tested in a real-life situation.

If you are interested in how much microwave radiation different smart meters may produce, please see these links:

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/is-the-wel-smart-box-a-health-hazard/

 https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/how-much-radiation-does-the-smart-meter-at-your-home-produce/

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/does-the-modem-for-this-smart-meter-produce-more-radiation-than-is-legal-in-nz/

http://www.organicnz.org.nz/node/501

Serious illness following smart meter installation

Website editor’s note:

The following email was received by www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz in late February 2015:

I have been really ill, requiring hospital treatment 1 or 2 times a month since 2 weeks after having smart meter put in. I had tremors, sharp head pain, urine infections, kidney pain, heart palpitations and severe weight loss, also thyroid problems. The meter was on outside wall by my headboard. I moved out of the bedroom after being told about smart meters.  My symptoms have improved remarkably, but I now have to endure Graves Disease and severe eye disease. For about 18 months I was slowly deteriorating to the point that I honestly thought I would not live. My family thought I was not going to live.  How can these meters be allowed?

Regards

[Full name supplied but removed to protect privacy]

 

In response to an email from www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz more details followed:

 

Hi Katherine, sorry to take so long with my reply. I was with Genesis. I asked them to remove modem and they said that they had made a decision in November 2014 to not take any more out and that I would have to change power company if I wanted it removed. This decision was made as there were so many people wanting them removed, so I was told. The power meter is 18 inches from my head on outside wall.

This customer’s response was to change to another electricity  retailer.  Her new company: 

“… told me to get a letter from my GP and send it to them. I got a letter and sent and the modem was removed within a few days. I live in [name of location of residence supplied].

Within a few days of moving out of the bedroom into my spare room, I noticed the pain in my head stopped. I had been so sick for about 18 months and no one could explain the reason for it.

One day I was so unwell I got in car and went to my GP. I just said to him that there IS something wrong with me and I want every blood test possible taken.The results showed I had thyroid problems. I was at [name of NZ hospital] every 2 weeks for the next year. I have had Radioactive Iodine treatment. That terrified me after what the radiation from the smart meter had done to me.

I had tremors, heart palpitations, sharp pains up the side of my head, nausea, up 4 or 5 times a night to toilet and developed Thyroid Disease [while the smart meter was installed and prior to the modem being removed – Ed] .

Smart meters are known to cause thyroid cancer*, so guess I’m lucky to have asked for tests when I did. Also recurrent urine infections with no reason for them.

Five weeks have passed [since the modem was removed] and I feel like new. All symptoms have gone completely. My eyes have been affected badly is the only problem I have now. I am also left with Graves Disease and need to now wear sunglasses, even to watch tv  and inside the house until lights off and into bed.  I feel very lucky. I can’t remember who first told me about smart meters and the health problems they cause. Hope this letter helps in any way.

Regards [full name supplied]

 

Website editor’s note: Reports of “smart” meter-related problems (whether health problems, fires, increased bills or any other problems) may be reported in confidence to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz via our Contact Form at this link.

Information is not posted on the website unless permission is given for this to be done.

*Ed note: I am not aware of any scientific publications on smart meters and thyroid cancer; however at least one study has shown that cell phone radiation can stimulate thyroid cell division. Many smart meters in NZ use the cellular network frequency.  http://thyroidworldcongress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/O022_Mizrachi.pdf

Do you have a GloBug prepay power system?

Do you have a GloBug prepay power system?

 

Do you (or does someone you know) have a GloBug prepay power system?

Mercury Energy is busily marketing its “GloBug” prepay power system to low income families. This year GloBug is one of the sponsors of the annual Pasifika festival in Auckland and it has least one billboard advertisement in Auckland marketing the GloBug system. (The billboard features a very pretty little girl of Maori or Polynesian ethnicity.)

(Note to overseas readers: In New Zealand, statistically, Maori and Pasifika families are more likely to be impoverished than New Zealanders of Asian or European descent.)

Mercury is probably keen to improve the public profile of the GloBug system which has been the subject of quite a lot of coverage in the mainstream media, much of which is not complimentary.

For example a complaint was made to the popular consumer affairs TV show FairGo in 2010 – see http://tvnz.co.nz/fair-go/power-struggle-3736876 ) and a report by the NZ Herald’s health reporter Simon Collins about how families using prepay meters have been “shivering” from cold due to the expense of keeping the power on (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10839079)

Consumer NZ also expressed concerns about Mercury’s prepay power system in 2012. (See: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6595787/Pre-pay-power-plans-unfair)

There have also been reports of Mercury Energy bullying customers to accept the GloBug prepay system (see: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10744327) and NZ Herald columnist Brian Rudman also excoriated Mercury Energy after the company threatened to move him to the GloBug system after he did not pay a bill that he had no recollection of ever receiving. (See http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10744518)

(Note to overseas readers: The NZ postal service is not that efficient; bills get lost in the mail from time to time!)

What Mercury Energy keeps very quiet is that the GloBug system relies on smart metering technology. (See; http://www.epaynz.co.nz/product-range/prepaid-electricity) This technology, which allows remote disconnection when people’s prepaid credit gets too low, has transformed low income households (which were previously considered a financial liability by the company) into a “cash cow”.

Mercury Energy’s parent company, Mighty River Power, has boasted:

“It [the GloBug prepay power system] has also turned some accounts, traditionally regarded by the industry as the worst customers, into some of Mighty River’s most-valued customers.

(See: http://www.energyawards.co.nz/finalist/2012/innovation-in-electricity-award/mighty-river-power)

So, while Mercury Energy is being paid in advance for supplying electricity, the GloBug system relies on microwave radiation producing “smart” metering technology that may put its customer’s health at risk. And many of its customers will not even realise that opting for (or being forced to accept) a GloBug system means increased exposure to potentially carcinogenic microwave radiation.

The traditional analogue (Ferraris) meters installed in NZ when electricity was considered an essential public service (and was supplied by local authorities,rather than greedy corporations) do not produce any microwave radiation. Analogue (Ferraris meters) are still on the NZ market but many electricity retailers are trying to force their customers to accept smart meters.

NB: While Mercury Energy pioneered the use of GloBug in NZ, the company  is not alone in using the GloBug system for prepay electricity;  Meridian is also reportedly using this system.

Mercenary Energy

A friend created a new logo for Mercury Energy to reflect the company’s reported bullying of its customers to try to get them to accept “smart” metering technology.

 

For a photo of a type of smart meter used in conjunction with a GloBug, please see this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/aerial-installed-inside-family-home-as-part-of-a-globug-set-up/

 

NB: If you are concerned about the financial, health or other risks of smart meters, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Thank you.

 

 

April 1 “deadline” for electricity meter certification

It has been reported to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz by many NZers that they have been told by representatives of their power company that there is a government deadline for electricity meter replacement by April 1 2015.

This is NOT true.

What the Electricity Authority (EA) regulations state is that meters need to have a current certification at that time.

 

If you live in a relatively new home (built during or after October 1999) your electricity meter may be certified up until and beyond April 1 2015. (See below for how you can check on when your meter’s certification expires.)

 

If you live in a home with an older meter (those installed prior to October 1999) as of this writing (February 2015) your meter will have “interim” certification that is due to lapse on April 1.

In the case of meters which have an interim certification which is due to expire, electricity companies can variously choose to either:

 

i) Re-certify those meters which currently have “interim certification”,

ii) OR get an exemption from the EA from having to recertify the meter by April 1, 2015

iii) OR replace the meter with a new meter.

NB: If a meter has reached the end of its useful life, The EA regulations do  NOT specify the type of electricity meter that may be used to replace it; electricity companies can CHOOSE between smart meters, electronic meters that are not smart meters and traditional analogue (electromechanical Ferraris) meters. All of these types of meters are on the NZ market.

(NB: To see some of the alternatives to smart meters that are on the NZ market on the website of  Legacy Metering Group, please click HERE to visit the appropriate page of the company’s website.)

There is NO government requirement  for electricity companies to install smart meters in homes or small businesses.

If someone from your electricity company tells you that they have to install a smart meter because it is a “government requirement” or words to that effect, they are either misinformed or lying.

 

If you have an older meter (or do not know the age of your meter), there are two ways of finding this out.

  • Call your electricity retailer and ask if they have a record of when your meter’s certification is due to expire. Electricity retailers have access this information and should give it to you.

OR

  • If your electricity retailer has given you incorrect information in the past (so you do not trust the company to tell you the truth regarding your meter’s certification status), you can obtain the information by making a request under the Official Information Act (OIA)  to the Electricity Authority for information relating to the meter at your address.

If you decide to make a request under the OIA, include the ICP number for the electricity the electricity service to your home (which will be on your bill) in the request. A simple statement to the effect that  “under the Official Information Act” you require the information held by the EA about the meter at your address, including its certification status and when its certification expires “ should get the information easily.

EA contact details are at this link:

https://www.ea.govt.nz/about-us/contact-us/

You can email a request under Official Information Act; it is not necessary to send it by post.

The next steps…

Once you know whether or not your meter’s certification is going to be valid beyond  April 2015, you can make a decision about what to do next. (You may well find you have a certified meter and do not need to make any decisions.)

However, if you electricity meter’s certification is due to lapse on April 1 and/or you are with an electricity retailer that is that is insisting that you accept a smart meter, if you do not want a smart meter, you may have to consider changing companies.

There is information at this link that you may find helpful if this is the case.

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/how-to-get-rid-of-a-smart-meter/

NB: If you are being offered a smart meter that has had its wireless transmission capacity disabled, please read this post so that you are aware the the issues with these types of meters before making your decision: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/comparing-analogue-ferraris-meters-with-smart-meters-which-have-had-the-modem-removed/  

Want to stay updated on the smart meter issue in NZ?

There is a free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz  Please sign up to it and you will get email updates.

 

Free EMR and Health newsletter: New edition out now

EMR Australia’s free quarterly newsletter is now available.

This issue is particularly good and features an interview with Melbourne physician Dr. Federica Lamech whose article on adverse health effects from smart meters was recently published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The issue may be downloaded from this link:

htttp://emraustralia.com.au/EMR_and_health.html

 

The other topics for this issue are listed below:

  • France’s new law to reduce exposure to wireless radiation;
  • how mobile phones affect the brain and fertility;
  • a recent Australian study on smart meters and how they’re affecting people;
  • an interview with the study’s author, Dr Federica Lamech;
  • the European Union’s new position on electromagnetic hypersensitivity;
  • sleeping on spring coil mattresses – is it a good idea?
  • chemical sensitivity;
  • how digital technology affects sleep;
  • a new Australian book on chemical and electromagnetic sensitivity by Diana Crumpler;
  • the latest news and research and items of interest from around the world.

SOURCE: http://www.naturalmedicine.net.nz/news/free-emr-and-health-newsletter-new-edition-out-now/

How “smart” water meters invade privacy

“Smart” water meters are currently being trialled in Tairua on the Coromandel and are being considered by the Waikato District  Council (see links below for details).

The report at this link http://smartgridawareness.org/2015/02/13/how-smart-water-meters-invade-privacy/

outlines how smart water meters can infringe people’s privacy.

 

NB:  If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up to the free email list on www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz  Thank you.

 

 

Tairua smart water meter trial

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/tairua-smart-water-meter-update/

Waikato District Council plans for smart water meters

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/smart-water-meters-2/waikato-district-council-vote-on-water-meters-and-smart-water-meters/

General smart water meter information in NZ

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-water-meters-in-nz-the-situation-so-far/

Dominion Post covers smart meters and privacy issues

This morning’s Dominion Post features an article by Ben Heather about how the Privacy Commissioner has received a number of complaints concerning how smart meters infringe on people’s privacy.

 

Smart meters pose a risk to privacy (and home security) because they collect data about electricity use in half hourly intervals 24/7 and transmit it back to the electricity company (and/or another party such as a lines company).

When this data is “deaggregated” by computers it is possible for power companies (or any other company or individual that has access to the data) to work out what appliances were in use when and thereby build up a profile of activities in a household or business. It is also easily possible to work out when people are home or not at home.

You can read the full story here:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/gadgets/66079055/smart-meters-power-companies-know-when-youre-home

 

Other links that you may find interesting if you are interested in privacy issues are here: 

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/the-latest-on-how-smart-meters-affect-your-privacy/

 

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/network-tasman-there-are-no-privacy-concerns-with-smart-meters-yeah-right/

 

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/smart-meters-and-your-privacy/

 

https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/mike-mitcham-lecture-on-smart-meters-and-the-smart-grid/