Thanks to a local resident taking photographs of the Powerpoint slide that Mr. Andrew Stanton used to illustrate the talk that he gave to the Golden Bay Community Board and members of the public on May 13, 2014, people who could not attend the event can now see the slides below. (If you would like to hear the presentation and the questions asked, please see this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/hear-network-tasman-ltds-presentation-to-the-golden-bay-community-board/
You can click on any of the slides below to enlarge them.
Slide 1: In the slide below you will see the Network Tasman Ltd’s stated reasons for wanting to install “smart meters” and a “smart grid” in the Nelson-Tasman area.
Please note that the claim that smart meters will “reduce energy costs” is highly dubious. “Smart meters” allow for the introduction of “time-of-use” pricing which makes electricity more expensive at peak times and therefore can increase power bills. See this link for details:
Slide 2: This is pretty straightforward…and you can see why an electricity company would prefer to get an automated alarm, rather than phone calls from customers after the power goes off unexpectedly…on the other hand…the potential price customers may pay for their electricity company’s convenience could be adverse health effects from “smart meters”. (See this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/survey-of-people-adversely-affected-by-smart-meters/.)
Slide 3: Again, this slide shows how Network Tasman Ltd hopes “smart meters” and a “smart network” will make it easier to manage the electricity supply. It sounds great, if you ignore the potential effects on health (and privacy) posed by “smart meters”. (See this page for information on privacy: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/network-tasman-there-are-no-privacy-concerns-with-smart-meters-yeah-right/
Slide 4: Below you can see the Network Tasman Ltd claims the one of the benefits of “smart meters” is “privacy”. (Yeah right!) Please read this link https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/network-tasman-there-are-no-privacy-concerns-with-smart-meters-yeah-right/ if you haven’t already and then decide for yourself what impacts more on your privacy..
1) Having a meter reader come to your home once a month (or less frequently in some areas) ?
2) Having detailed data about your electricity use transmitted to your electricity company who may supply it (perhaps sell it?) to third parties?*
Bear in mind, the data can be so detailed that whoever has access to it will be able to know when you boil the kettle to make tea/coffee, use your toaster, take a shower, cook, use a computer, TV or any other piece of mains-powered electrical equipment…they will know what you do when in the privacy of your own home…
As for Network Tasman Ltd’s claim that “nothing gets reduced unless it is measured”…
Well, if that isn’t industry spin, I don;t know what is. Most people who want to reduce their power bill reduce their use of appliances that use a lot of electricity, for example they boil vegetables instead of baking them if they have an electric stove and hang washing out to dry outside whenever possible, rather than using a tumble dryer, if they have one. No one needs a “smart meter” to save electricity and reduce their electricity bill.
Slide 5: More advantages, again mostly for Network Tasman Ltd. (When did you last have a fuse blow? I don’t remember ever having to deal with this and I have managed a household and paid electricity bills for 25 years.)
Slide 6: A claim that a “smart meter” is “safer than an electric blanket” is not terribly credible. For a start, electric blankets in poor condition can cause fires and electrocution, but over and above that, sleeping on an electric blanket is a potential health hazard because of the electromagnetic fields (EMF) created by the wiring. By contrast “smart meters” create electromagnetic radiation, specifically radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in the microwave spectrum. So, we are talking about products that have two different types of health risk, one from EMF and one from EMR.
Lest you think an electric blanket is completely safe, at the very end of this post is some info about a possible link between electric blankets and breast cancer. (Not all studies have found a link; but some have.) If you must use an electric blanket, turn it off and unplug it before you get into bed to minimise the exposure to EMF.
The potential health risks from “‘smart meters” are summarised at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/health-issues/
Please note that these do potentially include an increase in the risk of cancer because radiofrquency radiation produced by “smart meters’ is considered a possible carinogen (class 2B by the International Agency for Research on Cancer; see the link above for details.)
Mr. Stanton also discusses “smart meters” as a possible cause of fires. There have been some “smart meter”-related fires in NZ as this link shows; however it is not clear if the fires reported in 2010 were an isolated incident or whether this is an ongoing issue. Se this link for a TV3 story about fires: http://www.3news.co.nz/Fire-prone-meter-boxes-causing-concern/tabid/423/articleID/159133/Default.aspx
Slides 7 and 8: These feature a graph. The accuracy of this graph has been disputed in a critique of the document from which the graph was sourced. You can read the critique at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Hirsch-comments-on-Health-Impacts-of-Radio-Frequency-from-Smart-Meters-California-Council-Science-Technology.pdf
The critique has graphs that you can compare with the one used by Network Tasman Ltd.
For other examples of how Network Tasman Ltd. appears to be trying to “manufacture consent” for “smart meters” with a variety of materials on its website purporting to show that “smart meters” do not cause adverse health effects, please see this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/is-network-tasman-ltd-using-bad-science-to-justify-bad-decisions/
Slide 9: To their credit, Network Tasman Ltd has stated that people can “opt out” of having a “smart meter” and there will be “no cost” for this.
As you can see at the slide below, if you are in this area and you don’t want a “smart meter” you will need to inform Network Tasman Ltd and/or your retailer. (It is probably best to do both and also put a lock and sign on your meter box in case your name is not removed from list given to the local “smart meter” installer. ) See this link for more details: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/how-to-avoid-getting-a-smart-meter/
The safest sort of meter, health-wise is an analogue (Ferraris) meter* so you may wish to state a preference to maintain your current meter, if it is in good working order or for a new analogue (Ferraris) meter to be installed. A “smart meter” that has had it transmission modem removed may stil pose risks to your privacy, as explained at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/network-tasman-there-are-no-privacy-concerns-with-smart-meters-yeah-right/
Please note that if you are with Genesis or EnergyOnline the Terms and Conditions on these companies’ websites state you must accept a “smart meter”; while Mercury Energy’s Terms and Conditions state that customers must allow meter replacements. (For details on this issue, and suggestions how to handle it, please see these links: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-meter-installed-without-permission-headaches-result-smart-meter-removed-headaches-disappear/
*Please note that quite strong magnetic fields can be produced by a Ferraris meter so bed or work desks where people spend a lot of time should not be situated within one metre of a Ferrais meter. The magnetic field declines rapidly with distance.
More information about Network Tasman Ltd may be found at these links:
Electric blankets as a possible cause of breast cancer:
New Zealand scientist Dr Neil Cherry (sadly deceased) reported in detail on the of electromagnetic fields and cancer in a paper titled “Electromagnetic Radiation Causes Cancer: The Implications for Breast Cancer” at the World Conference on Breast Cancer in Canada in 1999. The PDF may be downloaded at this link:
The following two links are to studies that show an association between electric blanket use and increased breast cancer risk. (There are also studies that do not show a link.)