Website editor’s note: The piece below was contributed by a retired nurse, who had previously reported how a smart water meter had been installed outside her home without her permission.
Her latest contribution to this site shows the power of a simple letter refusing a smart water meter.
If everyone in Waiuku were to refuse to participate in the smart water meter trial this could have a big positive impact for the Auckland region.
Retired nurse succeeds in having smart water meter removed
Earlier this week, I saw Watercare personnel in the street. [Ed note: Watercare is the “Council Controlled Organisation” that provides water and waste water services to most people who live in the Auckland region.]
On enquiring what they were doing, three Pacifica/Maori guys said they were changing all the [water] meters to “smart” meters.
When I said to the men that I didn’t want one and said why, a Pakeha older man “flew” out of the truck and proceeded to tell me that I didn’t know what I was talking about – the meters were akin to cell phones. He just about had an apoplectic fit when I remarked that cell phones are not safe either. [Ed see this link for a discussion of some of the research on cell phones and brain and other cancers.]
He calmed a little when I explained the two cards in my mail box within four days, the first saying the water meter outside my fence didn’t need to be changed, the second saying that a “smart” one had been fitted as part of a trial.
He told me that the meter wasn’t mine and it wasn’t on my property. I replied that it served my property; also that Counties Power’s meter wasn’t mine either, but it served my property, and the outcome of my letter to them. [You can read about how this contributor successfully avoided the installation of a smart electricity meter at this link.
I emphasised that smart meters are not compulsory, and those of us who are knowledgeably informed about them shouldn’t have them forced on us.
On his advice to contact the PTB immediately, I proceeded to write my letter – using your template for refusing a smart water meter at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/FORMAL-NOTICE-OF-NON-CONSENT-FOR-SMART-WATER-METER.docx
[Ed note: Please note that since this template letter was posted, the email addresses for the Minister of Health and some other people have changed; these will be updated as my time allows or you can google them.]
I found that most of the politicians/email addresses are now outdated – had to find the relevant ones. The Auckland Council’s CEO’s email [was] nowhere to be found and I told someone at Council that such info should be on the website and easy to find. I was given Stephen Town’s email address.
I received acknowledgments from Auck. Council people within 24 hours – nothing from any of the politicians.
I included in my letter a copy of most of my letter to Counties Power in 2014 (which may be read at this link), including their subsequent intimation that my address had been removed from their installation list.
Yesterday, hand-delivered to my mail box was a letter from Watercare Project Mgr, Waiuku Smart Meter Trials, confirming that the smart meter has been removed.
Ed note: This is a great example of how one person is making a difference.
A successful trial of smart meters by Watercare in Waiuku could potentially lead to smart water meters being foisted upon everyone in the Auckland region.
This retired nurse has paved the way for successful refusal of a smart water meter, please share this link with everyone you may know in the Waiuku and encourage them to do likewise.
More information about smart water meters (including reasons to refuse their installation) are at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/category/smart-water-meters-2/
To stay up to date with the smart meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz
Website editor’s note: The following report comes from Whangarei journalist Clare Swinney. (To find out more about Clare’s recent work on the smart meter issue, including measuring smart meter emissions, please type “Clare Swinney” (without the speech marks) into the search box at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz.)
Northland Woman Successfully Stopped Company From Installing A Smart Meter
I have been hearing repeatedly that Meridian insists that their customers must “upgrade” to a smart meter, or find another power provider. This evidently is not true in all cases.
An elderly lady who lives in Tutukaka, Northland phoned and advised the following on the 25th of March, 2016:
She got a letter from her power provider, Meridian on the 5th of February, 2016, which is attached. It was a standard letter, sent to advise customers that Meridian was “upgrading” meters in the area and that hers was scheduled for replacement. It mentioned that this “upgrade” was to improve service and ensure that her meter was “certified and compliant.”
As she did not want a smart meter, she contacted Meridian and asked if the new meters were mandatory. The Meridian agent whom she spoke to told her that they were not, so she replied that she did not want one. The Meridian employee then tried to sell the virtues of the new meters, also referred to as “advanced” meters, and advised that her current meter may not be read monthly, but only once every 2-3 months if she didn’t get a new one. She told the Meridian employee that this was quite acceptable to her. The Meridian employee also advised that a “smart” meter would be installed anyway when the current meter’s certification lapses.
She checked on her meter box and to her jubilation she saw that it was last certified in December, 2014, meaning that the certification would not expire until 2029. She advised Meridian.
(Ed note: If your meter box is not easy to access, sending an email to the Electricity Authority is another way of finding out when your meter’s certification is due to expire. You can find out more about this by clicking HERE.)
She recently noticed that her neighbors had had smart meters installed, but fortunately, she still has her old analogue meter.
She said she was upset that “smart” meters were putting hundreds of meter readers out of work and when it was mentioned to her that the radiofrequency radiation emitting from them may affect bees, she said that her son, who lived on an adjoining property, had had two hives, but one had died. She did not know if this had anything to do with the “smart” meter installed on his property or not.
Smart meters are not compulsory in NZ
While some staff from some electricity retailers have reportedly made claims to the effect that smart meters are compulsory or some sort of goverment requirement, it is NOT compulsory to have a smart meter in NZ and if you already have a smart meter you can ask your electricity retailer to organise for the smart meter to be removed. Another possible option is for the modem and any ZigBee chip in the smart meter (these are the parts of a smart meter which produce pulses of RF radiation*) to be removed.
You can read about this option at this link: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/comparing-analogue-ferraris-meters-with-smart-meters-which-have-had-the-modem-removed/
Many people in NZ are saying “NO” to smart meters
If you do not already have a smart meter, and do If you do not want to expose yourself to the potential risks of smart meters, which include health and fire risks, as well as higher bills, you may like to read this link to find out about how other New Zealanders are successfully preventing smart meters from being installed at their homes and businesses.
You can read a summary of why many people are saying no to smart meters HERE.
NB: If you would like to keep up to date with information about the “smart” meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz. Thank you
Nelson Lady Feeling A Lot Better After Smart Meter Modem Removed & Wi-Fi Turned Off
Website editor’s note: The text below was contributed by a lady from Nelson. It is adapted from an account she wrote on her experiences and share on Facebook. The editor of www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz has no financial interest in the products mentioned in this contribution.
I didn’t think I was sensitive to radiofrequency radiation, but I started feeling really tired and fatigued not long after Contact, my electricity supplier, installed a smart meter on my home. I didn’t know they had until the night I arrived home and saw the lights flashing on it.
I had been feeling so irritated and grumpy from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep, all day, every day for a few months now and it was getting worse. I had headaches more than I have ever done before and felt really exhausted, so much so that I couldn’t do much at all and this feeling was intensifying.
A friend suggested I watch this talk, which I dare others to watch: “Smart Meters” & EMR: The Health Crisis Of Our Time – Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. It made me realize that the fatigue and headaches I had been suffering from were probably attributable to all the radiofrequency radiation I was being exposed to, including from the wifi when I used my computer, and the smart meters at both my home and work.
I contacted Contact Energy and asked them to remove the smart meter.
Today Contact Energy removed my smart meter chip and modem for $120, so it is now a readable meter emitting no radiofrequency radiation. It was very interesting talking with the young electrician who removed the modem, as he told me of a conversation he had with an ex-US military man who said he would never get a smart meter, because they use that technology to get people out of buildings, as the people in them get sick and leave.
(Ed note: Some types of smart meter are capable of producing an amount of microwave radiation that may exceed the national standard if the meter were to transmit continuously, instead of intermittently. Please see this post for details)
I talked with another friend who got me what is called a Nu-me pendant – I confess I didn’t really believe it would work, but was willing to try anything. Wearing it lifted my mood. It was quite amazing. By the time I got home from work I had more energy than I had had for a long time. I still feel good – back to my old self – the irritated feeling has gone, so has the fatigue – I have energy. You can contact her via her FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/orgonizelife/?ref=ts&fref=ts
My house is also now Wi-fi free, as I have turned the Wi-fi off and am using an ethernet cord on my computer instead. Wi-fi emits radio frequency radiation also, as smart meters do. WiFi Radiation – Dangers of WiFi – See It Measured – How To Remediate WiFi Radiation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICA19oKPi5I
It was such a subtle shift in my health that took place, that I didn’t notice at first – what got me, as it was so persistent and I couldn’t shake, was the feeling of irritation. The meter was in for about 4 months. The change in my health was so subtle and it built up until I felt in a manner of speaking, overloaded.
I don’t think I should have to pay the $120 for the modem’s removal and will look into this further, as I was not provided with informed consent prior to the installation of this so-called “smart” meter.
Ed note: In most cases of which I am aware, people who have needed to have the modem removed from a smart meter because they have become ill after its installation have unfortunately had to pay to have this done.
NB: If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for the email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz.
This link also includes a search facility to allow you to search the website for topics of interest.
Site editor’s note: Earlier this month I received this email from a lady asking for help as she had developed headaches after moving into a new home with a smart meter on the bedroom wall.
Here is the first email from this correspondent:
“I have recently become aware of the health risks posed by smart meters when moving to my new location in Christchurch.
“A smart meter is directly located on the outside wall of the bedroom and since sleeping in that room, I have been waking up with sharp pain over my right eye with headaches only getting better when I leave the room/ house throughout the day. Upon closer inspection of the smart meter box I felt light-headed, and had difficulty ‘finding words’ when talking.
“I contacted Contact Energy and they are willing to remove the chip from my smart meter for a $125 fee (although at first I received the usual – it’s like sleeping next to your cell phone speech).
“I was wondering if you were aware of any community members in Christchurch (south of city centre) that could possibly perform a RF reading after the chip has been removed to verify that it was ACTUALLY removed?
“Thanks for your help,
An email discussion ensued while this lady was waiting for the technician from her electricity retailer to remove the modem (the part of the smart meter which produce microwave radiation) from the EDMI Mk7A smart meter. In NZ, this type of smart meter usually communicates through the Vodafone cellular phone infrastructure.
Quoting from a subsequent email:
“…the symptoms have only got worse over the week, so hopefully starting next week I will be able to have a good night’s sleep again.
“I have always been sensitive to EMF sources, although never this aware.
“My husband is closer to wall with the smart meter and I have been waking up on his side of the bed with intense nausea during the night. (I might add: I have not changed eating habits etc.) And now that we have been there for close to three weeks and I have become so tired/ unconcentrated/ exhausted and unmotivated over this short space of time.
I received the following email the day after the technician came to the home and removed the modem
“Unfortunately I wasn’t at home when the electrician called me for the modem removal.
[She had hoped to be home and document its removal –Ed]
“On the upside – today I woke up and for the first time in three weeks there was no pressure feeling in my head and no stabbing pain above my eyes. I am so relieved. My husband noted as well that over the last few weeks the first thing I uttered in the morning was: I have a headache!”
Editor’s comment: In the cases that have been reported to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz, when symptoms develop after installation or a smart meter, or after moving to a new home that has a smart meter, removal of the modem usually results in the resolution of the symptoms.
If you are in this situation, based on reports that I have received, it is important to prioritise removal of the smart meter (and avoid being in close proximity to the smart meter, if possible, while waiting for the removal of the modem. ) This is because exposure to the microwave radiation produced by smart meters has been reported as a possible trigger of electrosensitivity reactions.
Also: As a general rule beds and work desks (or anywhere else where someone spends a significant amount of time) should be located at least 1-2 metres away from any type of electricity meter, including analogue (Ferraris) meters due to the high magnetic fields associated with the meter and household wiring.
NB: If you are interested in getting updates on the smart meter issue in NZ you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz
Website editor’s note: The following smart meter removal success report was received recently and shows that being persistent pays off in getting rid of a smart meter. If you would like to report your smart meter removal success, you can reach www,stopsmartmeters.org.nz through our Contact Form.
I thought you might like a success story.
I reached an agreement with Contact Energy – after going to the Electricity and Gas Commission, to have my smart meter removed.
The grounds for my case were that the terms and conditions of my contract with Contact had been clearly breached with insufficient notice of installation being given.
The outcome was reached after I repeatedly refused their offers, initially for the chip being removed, then the chip being removed without cost, then an apology and a compensation payment.
As I was unsatisfied with the last offer, I was prepared to take the matter to Court and indicated the same. In the process of the Commissioner making a ruling, two analogue meters were found that could be reinstalled. It pays to keep pushing and to stand firm to your position.
Smart meters are NOT compulsory in NZ
Please note that while staff from some electricity companies have been telling their customers that it is compulsory to have a smart meter installed or that smart meters are some sort of government requirement, this is NOT true. (There is more information about this issue at this link ) If you do not want a smart meter because you are concerned about the higher bills that could follow a smart meter installation, or Time of Use pricing, or the possible health risks many people in NZ are successfully refusing to have a smart meter installed using the techniques described at this link
If you would like to keep up to date with information about electromagnetic radiation and health, including the “smart” meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz. Thank you
For you information please find a link to download and / or listen to a very interesting interview with Lawyer Sue Grey on problems with microwave Wi-Fi and Smart Meters, etc.
on a radio program based in Hamilton with host Jack Gielen.
Search for the 1/2 hour Program – “From the Fringes” – 30/09/2015 at
The main interview on Wi-Fi, Smart Meters, etc. starts at about 6.10 minutes, though the preceding information may also be interesting.
Directions on how to find these programmes are below
Click on Podcasts for search for the above program and dates.
Go to the drop down menu for ‘From the Fringes’ programmes.
Guest speakers Sue Grey was on 01 Sept. (Katherine Smith, also speaking on smart meters appeared on 14th Oct.
Both programs can be re listened to and are also downloadable.
Please feel free to share this link!
To keep up to date on smart meters in NZ, please join the email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz
Sue Grey was also on TV talking about smart meters in 2015:
See specialist environmental lawyer Sue Grey interviewed about smart meters on Mainland News
NB: The latest (as of January 1 2016) TV coverage of the smart meter issue in NZ is below:
Maori TV news “Te Kaea” covers the smart meter story
A special community screening of the award winning smart meter documentary Take Back Your Power will be held next Sunday at the Oamaru club.
This screening has been organised by some wonderful local volunteers who would like to thank the Oamaru Club for being such a generous host.
If you have friends or family in Oamaru, please let them know about the screening. Many thanks.
Details are below:
Date: Sunday, August 16
Time: 1 pm
Venue: The Oamaru Club, Oamaru
A gold coin donation is requested as a contribution, please.
NB: If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up to the email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz in order to get newsletters with a focus on NZ smart meter news.
Editor’s introduction: While the electricity industry would like you to believe that smart meters do not cause any adverse health effects, numerous people have reported new symptoms after a smart meter has been installed at their home.
Here a recent report sent to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz which has been published with its author’s permission.
The first email received from this usually fit and healthy lady was as follows:
I have been sick ever since the smart meter was put into my house 5 months ago. It sits about 1 metre from my bed head on an outside wall. The symptoms began when I went to bed and my sinuses would drain immediately and I would begin coughing and eventually vomiting before having to get up again and take an anti-inflammatory to settle my throat. This occurred every night. Then I began to get sore dry eyes which were only irritable when in the house. Outside the symptoms disappeared.
Six weeks ago I began to get a funny feeling in my head as though I had high blood pressure and when I went to bed I would be very dizzy. On getting out of bed in the morning I would fall over sometimes with the dizziness. This eased on getting out of the house. My eye strength has reduced within the past 4 months as I have always sewed for pleasure, I now cannot see the thread even with my glasses on and a close light. I have also developed palpitations and a feeling that my heart is missing a beat and now I have chronic insomnia and feel nauseated all the time although this reduces when out of the house.
I have asked to have the smart meter removed and this has been agreed to by my service provider.
I think all Medical Practitioners should be questioning their patients when they come in with vague symptoms if they have a Smart Meter.
In my career I used microwaves to the treat sinusitis and muscle injuries. I was aware how careful we had to be in those days using special glasses if close to the rays. Now our houses a full of these rays. What damage are they doing to us….?
I replied to this correspondent and received a second email in return:
…..I had the [communications unit which produces the microwave radiation] removed from the meter today so will now be able to identify whether it was causing my sickness. The unit was a metre from my bedside on the outside of the house and from the time I put it in I noticed that as soon as I put my head down on my pillow my sinuses would just pour down the back then I would start coughing and it would develop to vomiting. This has continued but then I developed other symptoms which I have documented.
Last week I started turning off the wifi and all pilot controls when not in use and kept the windows and doors open until late my symptoms started to ease I think the combination of all the elements within a house that is closed due to the cold could accentuate the issues.
I am happy for you to post my comments. I have sent your website onto some other friends having difficulties so they may also post.. The [communications unit] from the meter at my property is now put into storage and will be replaced onto this property only if other residents request it….It can not be transferred to another property…
The meter is being removed on the second property in a couple of weeks….I will get the information regarding the make from the present tenants [who have been suffering from depression and sleeping problems – Ed] as it is the same one as mine was.
[Editor’s note: As the correspondent lives in the Counties Power area the type of meter at her home and the tenants’ home is probably a Landis+Gyr E350 series smart meter. If this turns out not to be the case, this post will be updated. ]
I think this is a very interesting subject which in some ways does not surprise me, knowing the effects of microwaves but with most modern houses now wired to death with everything… what is going to happen to people’s health down the track…?.
I think some people are more sensitive that others to this but it should be talked about.
It was interesting that Contact didn’t question my wish to have the unit removed, but Meridian who the tenants are with refused to…..so the tenants have changed cover to Contact but will have a delay in having the unit removed…..The Counties Power man said he had already removed 28 units in the district due to ill health….
I have always been robustly healthy and still run a farm with 30 head of cattle and although now 72 I was surprised to be feeling these symptoms….
If there is anything I can do to help draw attention to this issue I would be happy to do so….
The following email was received two days after the communications unit (which produces the pulses of micorwave radiation) was removed from the smart meter:
The microchip was taken out of the meter which means it no longer radiates and collects data.
[Ed note: I think the writer may be mistaken in her belief that the removal of the microchip means that the meter will no longer collect data; however removal of the communications unit does mean that the meter will no longer produce pulses of microwave radiation.]
Seemingly they only collect data for 4 minutes a day, I now have to read and have an estimated in-between the two months but considering the reduction of my symptoms already I am happy. My sinuses no longer pour at night when I go to bed, but I am still feeling a little dizzy on getting out of bed, but am no longer falling over. I think the damage to my inner ear may take longer to recover. I have had no palpitations and the nausea is going since it has gone.. I have also continued turning off my wifi when not in use which is also helping.
I think at night when it was cold I had locked down the house to keep warm and their I sat watching TV with my wifi laptop on my knee and the smart meter 19 metres away and really I was sitting in an electromagnetic field…The old dog would suddenly start shaking his head and get quite demented and I would let him outside and he would settle.
The tenants have are having their meter removed next week. They were the ones who told me that they were feeling depressed and not sleeping well and had experienced these types of symptoms before in rentals……I would never have thought of it myself most probably even though I knew the dangers of microwaves especially to the eyes……..The fact that Counties Power did not hesitate when I asked them to remove it says volumes…Maybe some people are more susceptible than others.
I found an interesting you tube video on the output of radiation from the wifi which also compounds the problem and I will sent you the link. What are all these people going to do living in these wired houses with all the mod cons when they start getting sick….
My house now feels so much calmer and even the dogs are more relaxed….I am going to continue turning everything off and watch the TV with the door open so as to dissipate the rays more…
[Editor’s comment: This lady’s observation that she feels better when the doors and windows are interesting. I recently read a very interesting book by an American woman who became extremely sensitive to electromagnetic radiation due to living in a home close to high voltage power lines. She reported her symptoms were not as bad when her home was well ventilated. The website for the book is http://www.backyardsecretexposed.com/
It is also quite clear to me from reports that I have received through www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz that different people do have different susceptibilities to developing symptoms from exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Not everyone develops symptoms and when people are affected they can develop quite varied symptoms.]
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://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
Given the reports of fires (or even explosions) associated with so-called “smart” electricity meters, you might imagine that electronic smart meters would be the last technology you would want measuring the usage of highly flammable and explosive natural gas….Unfortunately you would be wrong.
The NZ Herald reported in 2013 that Vector was “trialling” smart gas meters (See: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10880388)
Vector’s website states that its Vector Advanced Metering Services (Vector AMS) “provides innovative electricity and gas metering technology to approximately 1,000,000 homes and businesses throughout New Zealand. ”
I have not had any reports from members of the NZ public that a smart gas meter has been installed at their home but this does not mean that this is not beginning to happen here…
In some places overseas, smart gas meters are being rolled out aggressively, much to the concern of customers who may already know people whose health has been harmed by “smart” electricity meters.
The story below was contributed by an Australian who has successfully prevented his gas company from installing smart gas meter.
The correspondent who contributed the photos and letters below is obviously technically savvy when it comes to gas meters; if you are not able to identify the important components of a gas meter, please make sure you get advice from a suitably qualified person if you wish to follow this gentleman’s example and create a bracket to prevent the removal of your existing meter and its replacement with a smart meter without your permission.
If you have a gas meter and do not want a smart gas meter, you may wish to adapt one of the template letters/notices on our Resources page (that are designed to prevent a smart electricity meter installation) and send it to your gas company.
If you would like to give www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz feedback about the response you received from your gas company if you decide to take steps to prevent a smart gas meter from being installed at your home, you can reach us through the Contact Form.
Gas Meter protection Bracket
Unfortunately, I don’t have any mechanical drawings for my bracket (attachment titled, Aussie Analogue Gas Meter Protection Bracket.pdf) because there are numerous types and sizes of meters and they will each have unique installations that require a specialised bracket to be constructed. In my case, I did a sketch of what I wanted and took it to a metal engineering business and they manufactured it from the sketch (where subsequent measurements were also needed) and it fitted perfectly first up.
So I suggest that if anyone prints the photo file off (together with a photo of their own gas meter installation) and supplies these images to their engineer, he should have no problem making a similar bracket.
Cost: ~$160 unpainted
Metal: 6 mm mild steel
Anchor bolts: 4
Aussie Analogue Gas Meter Protection Bracket
You can see a photo here:
Below are two letters that were sent to the gas company specifically refusing a meter that is “AMI” (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) ready gas meter.
Letter to SP Ausnet
Reply to SP Ausnet
NB: If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for the email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz This will allow you to get emails that give updates on the smart meter situation with a focus on NZ smart meter news.
If you are in the Rangitikei area and are interested in health and environmental issues in your part of the country, there is a great new website that covers a diverse range of topics including food, fracking, waste disposal and smart meters.
The main site link is:
If you are interested in growing some of your own food there is some inspiring and useful information on this link of the site
If you would like to support a healthier environment in cities and towns in the Rangitikei region there is a petition to ban the use of glyphosate (now officially a “probable carcinogen”) at this link
The smart meter section of the site is here: https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/smart-meters/
NB: If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for the email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz This will allow you to get emails that give updates on the smart meter situation with a focus on NZ smart meter news.
Website editor’s note: The following email is from a New Zealander who described herself in an earlier email as usually being an “upbeat and energetic person” who found herself suffering inexplicably from chronic tiredness and headaches after moving house. Her doctor was not able to find a cause for her symptoms. Eventually a friend suggested that the smart meter at her new home might be the cause of the symptoms so she contacted www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz and described her symptoms. She also reported that a computer that was placed close to the smart meter was “playing up”.
The Landis+Gyr E350 series smart meter which was installed at her home contains a combines a modem and a ZigBee chip that are combined into a single “comms” [communications] device which is removable. At this customer’s request, the lines company that had installed the smart meter sent a technician who removed the comms device.
Below is a follow-up email from the customer after the comms device was removed:
Thank you so much for your kind thoughts with this email.
My headaches have certainly ceased since having the comms unit removed from the meter.
I know so many people have baa..humbugged me for it and comments have been flying through various media about what a load of rubbish about health issues with these meters.
During the time of experiencing headaches we ended up purchasing a new mattress, new pillows – thinking it was tension etc. as my husband was experiencing unsettled sleep also. But my headaches were progressively getting worse. Even my doctor couldn’t help me figure out why.
I know it wasn’t a matter of it being all in my head (excuse the pun) because my next course of action was to get my eyes checked for the possibility that I needed new glasses. I know it didn’t have anything to do with my eyes because I have NOW only just needed new glasses (no headache symptoms, just blurred vision).
After the unit was removed, It probably took just over a week (nearly 2) for me to realise I was no longer waking up with a throbbing headache (it was actually my husband that mentioned one morning that I wasn’t moaning about having a headache) and I can honestly say that all my eating, sleeping and any other…whatever habits…. had not changed except for having the comms unit removed from the meter.
I just say it’s similar to me being lactose intolerant – eating dairy makes me sick – but if I want to eat ice cream, I have soy dairy free. So my meter was making me sick and if I have to have a power meter, then I have one without the comms unit LOL !!
Thank you again for your kind thoughts
[Full name supplied]
NB: If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up to the free newsletter at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz
We were given a smart meter several years ago now. It was installed on the outside of my son’s bedroom. He was nine years old at the time. He is fourteen now so it was about five years ago.
He would say he was sick up to three times a week. It was always very vague. He would say he just felt sick. Then about 10 o’clock in the morning he would get up and suddenly feel much better. This pattern carried on for several months. Finally I decided that the smart meter outside his room might have something to do with his health.
I rang my provider, at the time and had the smart meter removed. Immediately Henry’s health improved. No more days off school for a vague illness.
We do not use wi-fi, microwaves or cordless phones in our home and cell phone coverage is very poor where we live. I am happy to say Henry has remained healthy since removal of the smart meter.
I hope this is helpful.
[Full name supplied]
Site editor’s note: If you have have experienced illness after a smart meter installation, you may contact www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz through our Contact Form. Reports are received in confidence and posted on the website only if permission has been given for this to be done.
In many of the reports that I have received relating to illness after a smart meter installation, the smart meter has been close to a bed or some other location (such as a work desk) where a person spends a lot of time. In such cases, the exposure to microwave radiation can be expected to be higher than when smart meters are located further away from parts of a home or business where people spend a large amount of time.
In the case of this child’s experience, it is not possible to estimate the level of microwave radiation to which he was exposed as the brand and model of the smart meter is not known, due to it having been removed a number of years ago. (Different smart meters on the NZ market have different emission profiles; for information on exposure from different types of meters, please visit the Technical FAQs section of our FAQs page.)
Please note that beds should be located at least one metre (preferably two metres or more) away from even an analogue (Ferraris) meter due to the high magnetic fields produced by a Ferraris meter. (The strength of these fields decline rapidly with distance.)
NB: If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up to the free newsletter at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz
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:
We have just successfully had the transmitting modem removed from our smart meter. We had our house tested by Paul Waddell [from www.safespace.net.nz – Ed] recently and he made the recommendation that we have this done.
Our provider, Mercury Energy, refused to do this and insisted that the meters were safe………….which of course we know that they’re not!
Powershop said they would do it and so did Contact Energy, and we decided on Contact. They were very helpful and we didn’t need to do anything to instigate the change over and then the removal of the modem.
A lovely contractor just came today to do the job and the charge is $125. Well worth it.
I’m happy to talk with anyone who wants advice on how to get this done. Many thanks, and keep up the great work!
Site editor’s note: A follow up note from this happy customer stated how the home felt “better” after the modem’s removal.
If you d not want to be exposed to pulses of microwave radiation from a smart meter, there are two options in NZ:
1) To get the smart meter removed
(See https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/how-to-get-rid-of-a-smart-meter/ )
2) To get the smart meter’s modem removed/disconnected.
Many, but not all brands of the smart meters on the NZ market have modems which can be disconnected or removed. (For more information about this please see this link: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/comparing-analogue-ferraris-meters-with-smart-meters-which-have-had-the-modem-removed/)
For general information on getting rid of an unwanted smart meter, please see this link: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/how-to-get-rid-of-a-smart-meter/
NB: To sign up for emails on the smart meter situation in NZ please visit www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz