Just a reminder that there will be a free community screening of the documentary Beings of Frequency which explores EMR and health in Auckland on the evening of Tuesday September 23. Full details are at this link: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/free-community-screening-of-beings-of-frequency-september-23/
Just a reminder that there will be a talk on smart meters at WellFest in Auckland on September 20…full details at this link:
Just a reminder that a special community screening of the award-winning smart meter documentary Take Back Your Power will take place in Marton on September 13. Full details are at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/award-winning-smart-meter-documentary-to-screen-in-marton-on-september-13/
If you are not in this area, you can stream or purchase the documentary from www.takebackyourpower.net
The WellFest expos http://wellfest.co.nz/ feature a large variety of health-related exhibitors, plus food court, free seminars and a special Kids Zone with entertainers. The WellFest events are high quality events and very enjoyable.
This year’s Auckland WellFest event takes place on September 20-21.
On Saturday September 20 from 2.15 to 2.45 pm, Katherine Smith, founder of www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz will speak at WellFest’s Seminar Room 5 about smart meters and health and share vital information to help you to protect yourself and your family.
Beings of Frequency, the documentary that covers electromagnetic radiation and health will screen at St Heliers Community Centre, 100St Heliers Bay Rd in Auckland on September 23 at 7pm.
Bookings are essential due to limited seating so please phone 575 6098 to book your place.
The screening is free and refreshments will be served. The event has been organised by Paul Waddell from www.safespace.ne.nz who will be available to answer questions after the movie.
Please let family and friends in Auckland know about this event. Thank you.
You can download a poster to put up to advertise this event from the link below:
URGENT: The Waikato District Council is having an extraordinary meeting on August 19 during which they will decide (among other things) whether to accept a resolution relating to “smart” water meters. (See this post for details: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/urgent-smart-water-meter-alert-for-waikato-district-council-area/.)
If you oppose the introduction of “smart” water meters to the area served by Waikato District Council (and/or oppose the introduction of water meters in general, here are some ideas you may like to use when emailing the Mayor and Councillors to express your opposition.
Please share this link and encourage everyone you know to do likewise. Thank you.
The email adresses for the Mayor and Councillors are at this link:
A suggested format for the letter will be detailed below.
REASONS TO OPPOSE THE INTRODUCTION OF WATER METERS (REGARDLESS OF TYPE)
If you oppose the introduction of water meters in general, you may want to express one or more of the following reasons for your opposition:
* Cost to Council: You may think that the money spent buying and installing water meters could be better spent by the Council in other areas (please give examples, if you know of a local Council service which has not been funded or is under-funded where the money could be better spent.)
* Cost to Rate Payers: You may wish to express concern that spending money on water meters will be reflected in your rates bill, in terms of increased charges for water and/or a general increase in rates to cover the capital expenditure involved in installing water meters. If any rates increase may adversely affect your personal budget and/or viability of your business (if it is one that uses a lot of water, for example, a cafe or other business that provides toilet facilities for the public) you may wish to discuss this.
* Public health reasons: You may wish to express opposition to water meters as this increases the cost of living for everyone and low income families may be adversely affected by having to cut back on water use, and consequently being more at risk of developing impetigo, scabies and other communicable skin conditions as a consequence of being unable to afford to pay for sufficient water to bathe and to wash clothes, towels, bedding etc. as often as necessary. (If you work in an early childhood centre or school or other provider of education and care to children which may be adversely affected by changes in families’ water use patterns, you may wish to add this.)
* Impact on home gardening: Installing water meters and making water expensive may reduce people’s ability to enjoy planting flowers to beautify their neighbourhood and also restricts people’s ability to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables, potentially reducing their nutrition and impacting adversely on their general health.
* Impact on education and community facilities: If you work in an early childhood centre, school or tertiary education provider that is already on a tight budget how will having to pay extra for water impact on the services that you offer? Will it mean cut-backs in terms of what you can offer chidlren and/or students? or increased fees? Or both?
* Other reasons: You may have other reasons for opposing the introduction of water meters, for example that once water meters are instlled it may be easier for future Councils to privatise the water supply: Please express these in any email you may write.
REASONS TO OPPOSE THE INTRODUCTION OF “SMART” WATER METERS SPECIFICALLY
* Health reasons:
1) “Smart” water meters use radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in the microwave range to send information about water use and this radiation is considered a “possible carcinogen” by the International Agency on Cancer. (See: http://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-review.)
2) People who are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation may suffer from increased symptoms if “smart” water meters are introduced given that these meters produce RFR. For more information about how people who are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation and the challenges they face, please see these links:
NB: There is no information on how many people are affected in NZ because NZ does not keep statistics. However, in Sweden where good statistics are kept, three percent of the adult population is known to be affected by sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation, also variously known as EHS, ES or EMS. As you will see from the links above, life is very difficult for people who are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation and they certainly do not deserve to be further burdened with extra EMR from “smart” water meters when analogue meters are available, if the Council wants to introduce water meters.
* Potential adverse impacts on wildlife:
The US Department of the Interior has cited substantial research that shows RFR has an adverse effect on wildlife and that current US standards (which, like the comparable National Standard in NZ are designed to protect ONLY against thermal injuries and shocks) provide in inadequate protection for wildlife. (Please see this link for details: http://www.takebackyourpower.net/news/2014/03/27/us-department-of-interior-attacks-fccs-exposure-standards-out-of-date-and-inapplicable/
If the Waikato District Council plans to link up “smart” water meters with WEL Network Ltd’s “smart boxes” there will likely be an increase in the use of 900 MHz frequencies that have been cited by the US Dept of the Interior as harming birds.
GENERAL ADVICE FOR WRITING AN EMAIL
1) Start with your name and address
(If you are not in the Waikato District Council but are writing, for example, because you are concerned about friends or family in the area, or because you are a health professional with an interest in public health issues or you or your environmental group are concerned about adverse effects on wildlife, etc. please specify, this when you introduce yourself at the beginning of the email.)
Suggested format for rest of email:
Dear Sirs/Madams, [if you are writing the same email to everyone]
I am a resident of [your town] OR I am writing on behalf of [your business/community organisation]
I am writing to ask you to vote against any proposal to introduce water meters and/or smart water meters because
[List your reasons]
[Add any other comments you may want to make; bearing in mind that short emails are more likely to be read than long emails.]
Thank you for taking the time to read this email.
Yours sincerely/ Naku noa, na,
[Your organisation, if writing on behalf of an organisation]
September 25, 2014: An update on this issue is at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/waikato-district-council-vote-on-water-meters-and-smart-water-meters/
URGENT: The Waikato District Council is having an extraordinary meeting on August 19 during which they will decide (among other things) whether to accept a resolution relating to “smart” water meters.
The wording of the relevant portion of the item on the agenda is “that the Council continue to monitor the progression of smart water metering technology with a view to implement the technol0gy when it becomes cost effective and proven in NZ.”*
Given that there has already been a trial of “smart” water meters in Tauranga (see this link:https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-water-meters-in-nz-the-situation-so-far/
and a trial is ongoing in Tairua (see this link: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/tairua-smart-water-meter-update/ ) it may not be long before the Council may consider that the technology is proven for NZ – and the Council may consider it cost effective, given that “smart” water meters can potentially be integrated with the so-called “smart boxes” (actually Landis+Gyr smart meters) being installed by Waikato lines company WEL Networks Ltd.
(Please see this link https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/is-the-wel-smart-box-a-way-to-facilitate-smart-water-metering/ for how “smart” water meters may be integrated with “smart boxes”.
The Council will also be discussing whether to pass a resolution regarding the installation of water meters in Ngaruwahia, Huntly and Raglan.
Water meters of any type are controversial because they usually result in an increase in the amount of money home and businesses end up paying to their Council each year.
Charging for water potentially has public health impacts, especially for low income families who may have to cut back on water use and consequently be more vulnerable health problems associated with poorer hygiene such as impetigo, scabies and other communicable conditions that can be spread via towels, clothing and bedding that are not washed sufficiently regularly.
If you would like to do something to help:
* Please email the mayor and Councillors stating your opposition to “smart” water meters
You can find their emails here http://www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/Your-Council/Mayor-and-councillors.aspx and I will be posting template letters to make this easy to do later; please check back at this site later.
* Please alert all your friends and family in the Waikato region to this issue by sharing this post.
* Please tell all friends and family in the Waikato region that it is NOT compulsory to have a WEL smart box installed and to refuse its installation. Without WEL smart box installations to collect the data from “smart” water meters, it may not be economically feasible to install “smart” water meters. (Please see this link for information on WEL smart boxes and how they are NOT compulsory: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/shame-on-you-wel-networks-ltd/
Also please see this link on potential health impacts of the WEL Networks Ltd “smart box”: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/is-the-wel-smart-box-a-health-hazard/
(If this link is not working when you click on it, please copy and paste it into your browser. Thank you.)
*You can read the full text of the agenda of the meeting at the link below.
An update on this issue is at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/waikato-district-council-vote-on-water-meters-and-smart-water-meters/
SITE EDITOR’S NOTE August 20: I have received some feedback on this article, which stated, in part, that most “smart” meters in NZ do not contain ZigBee chips. (See below.) The post below in its original version did state that “not all” smart meters in NZ contain ZigBees; however, for the sake of clarity I have re-edited the post to make it clear that most smart meters in NZ do not contain ZigBees.
I will write a follow-up post in response to other comments as soon as I can.
SITE EDITOR’S NOTE August 28: I have followed up on other criticisms of this post and found out that it is not mandatory for heat pumps to have ZigBees or “demand response functionality” in NZ (despite the statements on the website of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment; see below for the reference.) However, there are heat pumps that are registered as being for suitable for use in NZ and Australia that do have “demand response functionality”. This “demand response functionality” allows for the heat pumps to be turned down to their lowest setting, rather than be turned off.
I will be writing a new post that explores these issues and give references so that you can find out whether your heat pump is one that may be able to be controlled remotely by your electricity company in a new post as as soon as I have time. In the meantime, I have added Editor’s notes to the post below to correct the errors. If you would like to be notified when the new post has been written, please join the email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz.
Who controls your heat pump…You?…Or your electricity company?
Do you have a heat pump in your home? I bet you appreciate its reliable warmth, especially when NZ is in the grip of a southerly that has come straight up from the Antarctic.
However, if you have a “smart meter” in or on your home, don’t count on always being able to enjoy that wonderful warmth….even if you always pay your bill on time.
Why not? Because your electricity or lines company may be able to turn off your heat pump remotely. [Ed note: Actually the electricity or lines company may be able to turn your heat pump down, rather than shut it off altogether. See Ed note of August 28, above.]
Smart meters which are fitted with a ZigBee communications chip have the ability to “talk” to “smart” appliances – and since 2011, according to a document on the website of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment heat pumps in NZ have been required to be “smart”.* [Ed note: There is actually no such requirement at this stage, despite the statement on the website of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment; see Ed note of August 28, above].
Not all smart meters in NZ contain ZigBee chips at this point; in fact, to the best of my knowledge most smart meters that have been installed to date here do not contain ZigBee chips.
However, the “smart boxes” being rolled out by WEL Networks Ltd in the Waikato and the Landis+Gyr E350 series smart meters being rolled out by Network Tasman Ltd, Counties Power and some other companies that are part of the SmartCo consortium do contain ZigBees. (The ZigBees are part of the Silver Spring model 454 Network Interface Card (NIC) which the meters use to send information back to the lines company and/or electricity retailer. The default setting of the ZigBee part of the Network Interface Card is claimed to be “off”. However, it may only be a matter of time before the ZigBee is turned on. I have no information regarding how the ZigBee can be turned on; it is possible this may be able to be done remotely.)
The Labour party would like to see all smart meters fitted with ZigBees: see https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/labour-party-2014-election-questionnaire/
(Please note that the Labour party is one of many parties that support smart meters in general; see the 2014 Election Questionnaire from www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz if you want to learn about other parties that support smart meters https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/category/2014-election-questionnaire/.
If you have a smart meter that contains a ZigBee, your power or lines company may therefore potentially be able to switch off your heat pump remotely. [Ed note: Actually the electricity or lines company may be able to turn your heat pump down, rather than shut it off altogether. See Ed note of August 28, above.] Of course it’s done in the name of managing energy better, of course; but what may be great for your lines company may not be so wonderful for you. (Goodbye cosy warmth.)
If you do not yet have a smart meter, count yourself lucky; you control your appliances; your lines or electricity company cannot switch them off [or otherwise interfere with their operation] when you least expect it – or most need them.
Please see this link for information on how to keep your home “smart meter”-free. https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/faqs/how-to-avoid-getting-a-smart-meter/ )
PS: Interested in learning how smart meters can affect your electricity bills? Read this post:
*According to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s “Analysis of submissions on Smart meters: How households and the environment can benefit Briefing for Commerce Committee: “From 2011 in New Zealand, all new heat-pumps will be “smart”. New heat pumps will be required by the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) to have “demand response functionality”. This means they will be able to “talk to” a HAN. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is looking at extending this requirement to more appliances.”
(NB: Even if there is no “smart meter” in the home, appliances which contain the ZigBee communications unit may still produce microwave radiation at in an attempt to communicate with a non-existent “smart meter”, so if buying new appliances, it is prudent to avoid those that are marketed as being “smart” if you do not want to unnecessarily expose yourself to RFR in the microwave range.)
The purpose of this post is to discuss some of the issues raised in the responses to the 2014 Election Questionnaire.
It is intended to give an overview of the issues with “smart meters” for readers who are new to this subject and/or this website. (Please note that if you would like updates on the “smart meter” issue you are welcome to sign up for the free email newsletter at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz.)
The list of questions in the www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Election Questionnaire were designed to help educate politicians about the “smart meter” issue, including the fact that the meters produce radiofrequency radiation in the microwave range which is considered a possible carcinogen (class 2B) to transmit information about electricity use (see: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/health-issues/ ) and also have adverse effects on people’s privacy, for example: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/network-tasman-there-are-no-privacy-concerns-with-smart-meters-yeah-right/ .
Another important issue is that electricity companies have reportedly been bullying customers to try to make people who do not want “smart meters” to accept them (see: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/is-your-electricity-company-bullying-you/ . Moreover some companies are trying to use Terms and Conditions to try to intimidate customers into accepting “smart meters” – with the stated or implied threat that their power could be cut off if they do not agree to a “smart meter” installation. (See:www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-meter-installed-without-permission-headaches-result-smart-meter-removed-headaches-disappear/ )
It is also of concern that it can be a very difficult and time consuming process for customers to get rid of “smart meters” once they have been installed, even if they are causing health problems. (Personal communications.) A lot of meters in NZ are on bedroom walls and this site has potential to cause substantial exposure to EMR from a “smart meter”.
There are a lot of myths being promulgated about “smart meters” by the electricity industry. These include claims that “smart meters” help people save money. While this may be true in some cases, many people have higher bills after a “smart meter” installations (see: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/huge-bill-increase-after-smart-meter-installed/ ) and if time-of-use pricing is widely introduced higher bills are likely to become a fact of life for everyone – see: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/how-smart-meters-can-lead-to-higher-bills/ and www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/the-advantages-of-smart-meters/ )
Another myth been pushed by the electricity industry is that “smart meters” are a safe technology even though they produce non-ionising radiation which has been classed as a possible carcinogen. The electricity industry frequently refers customers who express concern about the safety of “smart meters” to a document produced by the Electrical Power Engineering Centre (EPEC) at the University of Canterbury. You can read a critique of this document at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/report-on-health-and-safety-aspects-of-electricity-smart-meters-debunked/
Some political parties also support the introduction of “smart” water meters which i a concern given that the “smart” water meters which are being trialled in NZ produce a radiofrequency radiation pulse every eight seconds. See https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-water-meters-in-nz-the-situation-so-far/
The answers (or public statements) made by the representatives of some political parties suggest that some politicians have bought the corporate line that “smart meters” will help people save money and are somehow a safe technology – even though they produce possibly carcinogenic radiation, and all over the world where wireless “smart meters” have been installed, people have been reporting a variety of adverse health effects. (For some examples of common “smart meter”-associated symptoms please see: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/survey-of-people-adversely-affected-by-smart-meters/ )
Please bear these thoughts in mind when you read the responses from the different political parties to the www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Election Questionnaire. Thank you.
The text of the 2014 Election Questionnaire and links to all political parties’ replies may be found at this link:
If you live in Hamilton or elsewhere in the Waikato you may be offered a “smart box” by WEL.
This so-called “smart box” is actually a Landis+Gyr E350 “smart meter”, which like all the “smart meters” in use in NZ, produces radio frequency radiation (RFR) in the microwave range which has been classified as a type 2B possible carcinogen.
A document from WEL’s website purporting to show that the WEL “smart box” is safe because its emissions are lower than the NZ government standard for radiofrequency radiation has now been de-bunked by electropollution consultant Paul Waddell from www.safespace.net.nz.
The document which reports on testing of the WEL “smart box” uses two techniques commonly used by industry to make “smart meter” emissions seem lower than they actually are.
The first technique used involves averaging of the brief pulses of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) over a longer time period, rather than reporting the strength of each pulse in real time.
The second technique used in the document is to report on the strength of the RFR as a percentage of New Zealand’s National Standard for RFR, rather than using the actual figure for RFR in standard units (such as microwatts per square metre or microwatts per square centimetre, for example.)
NZ’s national standard NZS 2772.1:1999 is designed to protect against thermal injury caused by RFR in the microwave range, not any other possible adverse effects. Thus, a report that presents data about “smart meter” emissions as percentage of this standard, without disclosing that the NZS2772.1 : 1999 is designed to prevent shocks and thermal injury rather than assure protection from other adverse effects, may be interpreted by readers to mean that emission from the “smart meter” do not pose any risk to health.
Paul Waddell has used the information provided by the person who tested the WEL “smart box” and annotated the document with the actual values of the RFR pulses produced by this device.
You will notice that the non time-averaged values for the pulses of RFR produced by the WEL “smart box” are very high; up to 599,950 microwatts per square metre in a worst case scenario, although other values were lower.
To put this into context, the upper limit for exposure to RFR suggested by the scientists who collaborated on the BioInitiative Report (www.bioinititative.org) is 1,000 microwatts per square metre.
The guidelines used by people trained in Building Biology* considers any exposure to RFR over 1,000 microwatts per square meter to be of “extreme concern”. (See http://www.emfacts.com/2008/07/910-building-biology-evaluation-guidelines/)
The document may be downloaded here:
NB: Although WEL’s website suggest that there is a government requirement to have a “smart box” there is no law or regulation which forces you to accept a “smart box” if you do not want one. Other people have successfully refused a WEL “smart box” and you can, too.
Please see this link for more information: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/wel-smart-box-installation-prevented/
*Building Biology is a discipline which aims to create homes and other buildings that foster good health, through the use of non-toxic building materials, design that minimises occupants’ exposure to EMF/EMF levels etc.
The results of a survey of people whose health has been adversely affected by “smart meters” are now available in summary form at this link http://www.eiwellspring.org/smartmeter/ACCsurvey.htm or the full report may be downloaded from the link below.
The survey used an online questionnaire and asked all participants the same questions.
The majority of people (59%) were not electrosensitive (ES) prior to the installation of the “smart meter” and 82% reported their health was “good” or “excellent” prior to the installation of the “smart meter”. People were affected in different ways by the “smart meters”, however, according to the link above, “Reports of insomnia, tinnitus, pressure in the head, difficulty concentrating, headaches and heart arrhythmia were particularly common.”
(Similar symptoms, including headaches, tinnitus, sleeping difficulties and heart palpitations, have been reported to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz by New Zealanders who have had a “smart meter” installed at their home.)
In the survey, a nocebo affect could be ruled out for a lot of participants because many of the survey participants (42%) developed symptoms before they knew that a “smart meter” had been installed. Moreover 63% of the participants had not been concerned about “smart meters” before they developed the “smart meter”-associated symptoms.
The good news was that when the “smart meter” was improved, 91% experienced an improvement in their health. However, some had ongoing problems even after the “smart meter” was removed.
Quoting from the link above:
“About 45% of the responders believe that the smart meters caused them to become electrically sensitive.”
A similar association between the development of electrosensitivity in previously healthy people after a “smart meter” installation was found in a case series collated by Australian physician Dr. Federica Lamech. (See: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/american-academy-of-environmental-medicine-calls-for-moratorium-on-smart-meters/.)
The potential for “smart meters” to cause people to develop electrosensitivity (ES) (also know as electrohypersensitvity or EHS) is a major concern considering that this people with this condition suffer from painful and debilitating symptoms when exposed to levels of electromagnetic radiation and/or electromagnetic fields (from cell phone towers, cell phones, computers, Wi-Fi, household wiring etc.) that are almost impossible to avoid in developed countries. (For more information on EHS: please see these links: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/what-is-it-like-to-live-with-electrohypersensitivity-ehs-one-womans-story/
(Health professionals who need information on the assessment and treatment of people with electrosensitivities may find this link helpful: www.scribd.com/doc/87308119/Guideline-of-the-Austrian-Medical-Association-for-the-diagnosis-and-treatment-of-EMF-related-health-problems-and-illnesses-EMF-syndrome)
Quoting from http://www.eiwellspring.org/smartmeter/ACCsurvey.htm
“Effects of new or worsened electrical sensitivities, due to smart meters:
• 19% were forced to leave their job
• 24% needed accommodations at work
• 48% needed accommodations at home
• 64% had limited capacity to work
• 17% moved away from their home
• 37% want to move away, but cannot
• 24% can use a cell phone without symptoms, as opposed to 50% before the smart meter
• 39% can use a computer without symptoms, as opposed to 79% before the smart meter
“Could the health effects have another cause?
“The survey explores other explanations through several questions. Other possibilities include equipment installed in the home around the time the smart meter was installed, as well as outside sources, such as nearby transmitters. The answers do not point to such alternative explanations.’
The full report may be downloaded here: http://www.mainecoalitiontostopsmartmeters.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Exhibit-10-Smart-Meter-Health-Effects-Report-Survey2.pdf
Site editor’s note:
If you still have an analogue meter and do not want a “smart meter” please see this link: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/how-to-avoid-getting-a-smart-meter/
If you want to get rid of an existing “smart meter”, please see this link: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/how-to-get-rid-of-a-smart-meter/
The Bay of Plenty Times has reported that “smart water meters” are being considered for Tauranga. According to the article the new technology could be in use within two years and”involves the remote activation of a radio signal from a transponder attached to the meter.
The putative “benefit” to residents is that “that the householder can set a limit on how much they want to pay for water so that when the figure is exceeded, it triggers an alarm.”
There is already a limited trial of “smart meters” for water occurring in Tauranga, according to the article.
Full details are at this link:
The privacy implications of “smart” or “advanced” meters are quite significant given that information transmitted from the “smart meters” to your electricity company will allow the company to infer patterns of activity in your home – such as when you are using the stove or a heater, or are watching TV etc and when you are home and when you are not at home.
Is this the sort of information that you think your electricity company (whether government owned, or privately owned) has a right to know? And what if the information about your patterns of energy use falls into the wrong hands (such as criminals who may choose to plan a burglary at a time when you are not likely to be home?)
Privacy issues relating to “smart meters” are the focus of the site
If you are concerned about your privacy and home security, this is the site to visit for information that is relevant to the situation in New Zealand.
Comment: As a retired Electrical Test and Diagnostic Engineer of Taupo I have had the experience to make an informed prognosis of all that has been said against the introduction of digital Smart Meters. What has been mentioned is the increased costs associated with installing these type of S M by replacing the Analogue meters.My research shows that the increases will all be above a 20% increase from previous billings. Because almost every supply is indirectly connected to Windfarm Asynchronous Generators or Induction Generators. Many people and engineers will be surprised by my next statement.These type of generators standing alone by themselves can never produce any electrical output. They, when connected to the grid system can only modify the perfectly produced sine wave powered from conventional Synchronous Alternators and pollute the whole system with large amounts of harmonically distorted power.
Because of this pollution into the system wiring they develop an illegal form of T H D (total harmonic distortion).What the Smart meters can an do very efficiently is totalises up all these extra frequencies up to the 20th harmonic and produces a greatly inflated bill for power that you cannot utilise and invariable produced illegally above the Standard 5% threshold.The revolving Analogue Meter absorbs these and do not speed up to increase the billed amount. There are other technical problems but for just this point of R F I another point is that once a group of these meters are installed within close knit communities they can be likened to a machine gun firing indiscriminately affectively within a 400 metre radius whilst the use of a cellphone is on a at call basis.There are many aspects of this subject that i could enlarge on particularly in the Spot Marketing of pricing that Smart Meters utilise.
The Stop Smart Meters campaign that you have undertaken is very fraught with high risks to you and others associated to enlighten the common citizen to health risks. Our personal rights are being abraded across many frontiers for the collection of large financial rewards within our own government and big corporations. From my point of view and at my age of 73 I will happily assist in any way I can. My input has been via the old New Zealand State Hydro . Then new Zealand Electrocorp. Then Taupo Electricity as Systems Test Engineer controlling all facets of Generation Distribution . And Metering disciplines. I cannot verify any health examples as an experience but in other areas it is well within my grasp.
The Smart Meter Roll Out in New Zealand is utilizing the improved Technology that is available as part of the advancement of mankind. There is some upsides and down sides depending where your priorities lay.
With out doubt a new generation of problems become exposed and in this case R F I (Radio Frequency Interference) developing serious health issues all within the confines of every persons home. This development has a pioneering complexity that requires addressing and solving safely and expeditiously to all concerned.
With the health issues aside the use of the Smart Meter Technology is claimed to have many benefits to the consumer, retailer and the country as a whole by better utilizing resources and decreasing our carbon imprint.
In New Zealand nothing could be further from the truth. What every consumer will notice immediately with out any doubt is the increase of their Billing Costs over the old Analogue meter billing. If you suffered from R F I health issues then this costing gain will create other ongoing health issues.
New Zealand has now over the last 15 years produced DIRTY power with the advent and increased use of Asyncronous Type Generators into our Grid System in the form of Wind Farms and the use of Induction Generators using Geothermal energy. These are basically a 3 phase type motor operated above synchronous speed.
I personally would offer $1000 to the N Z Windfarm affiliates that any of these units cannot produce one kilowatt of power standing isolated on their own or to supply all year round power to one home.The advertising programs state they can supply cities .This is a grossly false statement and needs correcting.
When they are electrically connected to the grid distributing wiring they can only modify the existing perfectly produced sine wave from Hydro and Steam stations by distorting it with multiples of harmonic power which radiates to the consumers dwelling. This in turn produces and develops T H D (total harmonic distortion ) waves that become impressed into the Smart Meter Digital electronics. This very cleverly disseminates each harmonic wave up to the 50th harmonic of power and totals the lot to the billing stage. This then becomes murky. What every consumer is paying for is power they don’t want or can not utilize and have no redress above the legal 5%.that is allowed within the power grid system. There are other interesting issues. But for the consumer whether a industrial commercial or domestic customer they will on the average pay between 10-30% more for their power than they need to and that is what the very corrupt Electricity Marketing Fee collect from every bill illegally between 0.3 and 0.6 cents per unit.
So it is imperative to hold onto your Analogue rotating meter as these will absorb these harmonics to generally slow down.
Much is made of the gains to the national power grid by the use of these Smart Meters in allowing the customer to have the choice of selecting periods of power usage during Off peak thus saving money and to not stress the system when needed This is factually an untruth. What thinking people know is that N Z lies in a geographically North South direction and we have only one time zone across the whole country. As a consequent to that we have a morning peak and a night peak to which the power generators wish to supply through the Spot Market board ( M A R I A ) at a given price option as it is the lucrative part of their business. This generally covers only 6 hours out of 24 which in its self creates poor Load Factors and inefficiencies. The Generation cartels have Locked up the Marketing board by removing any competion within themselves by forcing acceptance of the Highest Marginal Cost Offered and that is the cost of new Generation to come onto line The power that is offered is every half hour slot and there are 17,520 of them over a year.
What this means is there is no competition what so ever as all the Retailers are being supplied from the same pot at the same time at the same price. And to compare with other systems around the world to gain acceptance to some remote point is a publicity exercise only.
I have mentioned that the harmonics that is allowed onto the system has to be within the 5% margin or else you are penalised through the courts . If you are a customer that generate these harmonics the fines are quite high laid down by the Commerce Commission . They have abrogated their Authority by not monitoring or prosecuting any of the Generators who pollute the system to my knowledge. I also believe that a T V Fair Go exposure that should force the government to repay all the customers that section of the Marketing Fee that has been collected illegally.
But I wont hold my breath.
(Note from website coordinator: All correspondence received through the Contact form on this site is treated in confidence. Comments are posted on this site only with the permission of their author. The site coordinator does not have any financial interest in any electricity company.)
Note from website coordinator: To the best of my knowledge it is NOT compulsory to get a “smart” or “advanced” meter in NZ. (See reference to Eelectricity Authority document, below.) However some representatives of electricity companies are apparently telling their customers that “smart meters” are compulsory, as is apparent from the email below (and other feedback that has been received which has not been posted on this site.)
Letter from visitor to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz:
I have emailed Contact Energy and asked them if it was compulsory to have a Smart Meter installed and this is what they replied –
“All meters in your area are being upgraded and we don’t have a way to opt out of the change. However in certain circumstances we can agree to install the new meter but without the smart connect portion of the meter livened. This means it operates as a standard meter does but it also allows us the flexibility to upgrade more easily later on down the track if you move out of the property”.
I then emailed them saying I’d done some research and found they are not compulsory and this is what they replied.
“a new meter is required to remain compliant with the Governments Electricity Regulations”.
Is that correct?
Reply from website coordinator:
Thank you for your email.
To the best of my knowledge what Contact has told you does not appear to be true. According to the document on the Electricity Authority “Smart-Meter-FAQ-Aug11.pdf” smart meters are not compulsory. To quote from this document:
“Is the Electricity Authority requiring retailers to use advanced meters?
“Most residential meters have certification that expires on 1 April 2015. To ensure that they operate accurately, all these meters need to be recertified before that date. Many retailers are using this as an opportunity to update metering technology, rather than having existing meters recertified.”
I hope this answers your question adequately.
(Note from website coordinator: All correspondence received through the Contact form on this site is treated in confidence. Comments are posted on the site only with the permission of their author. The site coordinator does not have any financial interest in any electricity company.)