“Smart” or “advanced” meters are not compulsory in New Zealand, even though some representatives of and/or contractors to electricity companies have been apparently telling customers that it is compulsory to have a “smart”meter. (Personal communications.)
NB: The legal situation regarding meters in NZ is explained HERE.
Most of the time, the person who pays the bill for a house or business will receive a letter from their electricity company advising them that the electricity will be “upgraded” to a “smart” or “advanced” meter. (For an example of such a letter, please scroll down towards the bottom of this post.)
Smart meters can be installed without advance notice
However, reports received by www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz indicate that electricity companies may not always send letters, and at least one company has installed “smart meters” without notifying the bill payer or the property owner. (Personal communications)
NB: If you are a landlord, you may not be notified that the meter(s) in your house/building may be changed; even though this may affect the return on your investment as discerning tenants may not want to rent a property with a “smart meter”. (Please see this LINK to learn why many landlords do not want smart meters installed at their properties.)
For these reasons, people who do not want a “smart” meter to be installed at their home or business have been taking the following steps:
1) Putting a lock on the meter box.* (Some examples are below)
2) Putting a sign on the meter box stating that the property owner or tenant has refused permission for a “smart meter” to be installed. (Some examples of signs/notices are below.) NB: Keep the notice in place even if your electricity company has agreed not to install a smart meter in case of communications problem that means the your home/business has not been removed from the installation list.)
3) Informing the electricity company by registered mail or by email that they will not accept a “smart meter”. (Examples of letters which have been sent to electricity companies are below). NB: It is prudent to keep all copies of correspondence with your electricity company in a safe place in case you need it later.
* NB: If the electricity meter is indoors, you and your family (or tenants or staff) may need to refuse entry if a technician comes to replace the meter. Please also note that some companies’ terms and conditions prohibit any action that restricts access to a meter such as locking the box; you may want to check your company’s terms and conditions.
UPDATE: July 2016: Forced smart meter installation in NZ
In July 2016, www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz received notification of a forced smart meter installation in which a technician broke into a locked meter box to install a smart meter. This is reported on HERE along with advice that should prevent similar incidents.
Are you being bullied by your electricity company?
Update: Over the years www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz has received reports of companies trying to bully their customers into accepting a”smart meter”, even though customers have disclosed serious health issues as a reason for refusal of “smart meter”. If you are being bullied by your electricity company, please email through the Contact From at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/
Your report will be treated in confidence and will not be published on the website unless you give written permission.
In some cases, people have found that changing companies is the best way to resolve a situation in which an electricity company fails to respect its customers’ wishes concerning “smart meters”. There is information at this link to help you change companies, if necessary. https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/how-to-get-rid-of-a-smart-meter/
If your reason for changing companies is to avoid a “smart meter” installation, it is prudent to get a written agreement with the company that a “smart meter” will not be installed at your home/business.
RESOURCES YOU CAN USE TO STOP A “SMART METER” INSTALLATION
NB: Many more resources, including some Te Reo and English resources are on our Resources page at this link.
Signs/notices for meter boxes:
Below is a Word document that you can edit as you feel is appropriate to your situation and put it on your meter box.
Or you could use this document, which is in PDF format, and not editable.
(NB: Even if you have an agreement with your electricity that they will not install a “smart meter” it is a good idea to lock your meter box and put a sign on it in case of any communication problems between the electricity company and the metering contractor.)
Documents/letters people have used to inform their electricity company that they do not want a “smart meter”:
The website www.takebackyourpower.net has suggested template documents that you may want to consider for your own use available at this link http://takebackyourpower.net/new-documents-to-prevent-smart-meter-install/
Below is an example of a letter that you can use to advise the company that installs “smart meters” (which is not necessarily the same company that supplies your electricity). NB: The letter below is addressed to Delta, the company that installs “smart meters” in Dunedin; however, the letter is in Word format so you can personalise it for your city or area.
An example of a letter that a retired nurse used to successfully prevent the installation of a “smart meter” at her home may be read at this link: https://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/retired-nurse-prevents-counties-power-smart-meter-installation/
NOTICE REFUSING CONSENT FOR INSTALLATION OF “SMART” METER (for electricity)
This is a template letter that you may choose to personalise and send to your electricity retailer to inform the company that you refuse consent for the installation of a “smart meter”.
AN EXAMPLE OF A LETTER THAT WAS SENT BY AN ELECTRICITY COMPANY ADVISING THAT A TECHNICIAN WOULD BE REPLACING THE ANALOGUE METER
NB: An example of a letter that was sent out to a customer advising that the analogue meter was going to be replaced with a [“smart meter”] may be viewed here. Click on the image to read the letter:
Details that could identify the people concerned have been removed.
Please note that although the customers who supplied the letter rang the electric company – as annotated on the letter – and stated that a “smart meter” was not wanted, the electricity company twice sent technicians to try to replace the meter anyway. Only the fact that the meter was inside the home and the technicians were not allowed in the house prevented the “smart meter” installation.)
For this reason, if you have an outdoor meter, it is prudent to padlock it shut and put a notice on it to the effect that unauthorised access is forbidden.
(NB: Even if you have an agreement with your electricity that they will not install a “smart meter” it is a good idea to lock your meter box in case of any communication problems between the electricity company and the metering contractor.)
You may also want to send a letter by registered mail to your electricity supplier stating that you refuse permission to have a “smart meter” installed.
BELOW ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF LOCKED METER BOXES:
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While all information on this site has been fact checked carefully, www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. Information about specific companies has been collated from articles in the media and other publicly available sources, as well as through communications with staff of respective companies.
Inclusion of links to other websites does not constitute endorsement of that website, organisation or company, nor imply that the site or company endorses www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz
Site users are encouraged to do further reading on the issue of “smart” meters rather than relying on this site as a sole source of information and to consult with someone who has relevant technical and/or medical expertise if they are concerned that their health is being adversely affected by exposure to electromagnetic radiation.