Stop Smart Meters

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10 May 2012 - 3AW Mitchell Programme: Warren May, a self employed electrician of 25 years received an electric shock due to a faulty smart meter installation – in his very own home.

On Saturday afternoon, Warren was investigating a leaking pipe near the front of his house near the front tap. He lifted the pipe to try to stop the leak, only to receive an ‘almighty shock’. He concluded that something was wrong and went to his switchboard to investigate. Warren noticed the neutral conductor wasn't returning current, i.e. the return power was going to earth via the water pipe.

Warren turned the power off and called Jemena to have a look. It was one of the original smart meters from the first trials. Jemena found the neutral wire had came loose from the smart meter.

Plumbers are meant to bond the pipes when cutting them to maintain earth continuity. Warren could have been potentially seriously injured. If pipe was broken, it could have killed Warren.

The first that Warren knew there was a problem with his home electrics was when his wife told him the lights were 'dim'. Of course, being an electrician, Warren wasn’t too concerned and told his wife that the lights were ‘alright’. Eventually Warren organised for Jemena tested to perform some tests, where they found a low voltage fault but did not test the smart meter.

Concerns are now raised about the person who installed Warren’s smart meter. How many other meters did this person install? Are they safe? Have they all been tested? Will other plumbers be put at risk due to a loose or faulty neutral connection at the smart meter?

5 May 2012 - The Hearald Sun has reported that Victorian households could be slugged an extra $45 in costs by electricity distrubutors over the next four years as they continue to roll out the smart meters. The unexpected cost blowout will see the smart metering costs passed onto consumers who reside in SP Ausnet's service area, after "the Australian Competition Tribunal this week found the [Australian Energy Regulator] didn't err in reaching its decision" in allowing SP Ausnet to utilise a more expensive technology for its remote meter reading system.