Information to Help You on Smart Electricity Meters
Two of the most commonly installed smart meters in Australia. The Landis & Gyr E350 and iCredit 500.
At present, each State is pursuing a different implementation policy on the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) or "smart grid". This worldwide agenda includes electricity, gas and water meters mounted on each premises. Each connects to the supplier via a 400 to 900Mhz microwave network, and both transmits usage data, and receives operational commands.
In addition to imposing a finely incremented and adaptable billing regime to opitimise profits, the device profiles daily activities within the premises based upon the energy consumption signature of each appliance. In essence, the technology is a form of unwarranted mass surveillance that has commercial as well as law enforcement value. The promise of a customer interface to "improve energy efficiency" has yet to be delivered to any significant degree.
A chart showing how smart meters profile you daily behaviour via appliance usage.
Victoria was the first State in Australia to enforce blanket installation of smart electricity meters. This resulted in a massive consumer backlash based upon health, privacy and billing issues. Queensland and South Australia have conducted trials and are set to follow. In New South Wales and Tasmania, it appears the plan is to phase them in gradually by stealth or "customer demand", rather than rely upon coercive legislation. This is expected to be driven by a new generation of smart appliances that do not fully function unless connected to a Home Area Network (HAN) via the 2.4GHz ZigBee module embedded within each smart meter. An ability is thereby gained to establish higher billing rates for "non-essential" appliances, disallow their use in times of power shortage, or partner with product manufacturers to enforce warranty conditions or impose a per hour rental-type fee. Consumers are simply being funneled into a shearing shed of endless permutations, none of which have much to do with "saving the planet".
Another little-publicised, industry "innovation" enabled by the AMI is prepayment, whereby the provider bills the customer for a certain amount of future usage, and then, once consumed, the meter cuts off supply via a control signal from head office.
ZigBee Module interacts with smart appliances.
Although subject to legal challenge based upon discrimination, customers who do not participate may be levied a fee to opt out and retain their manually read meter. The above situation continues to evolve toward a nation-wide grid, so keep up-to-date with developments in your area.
Does Opposition Work?
Unfortunatley, a sticker is not enough. This depends upon a number of factors, to be explored further below. Instances where refusal has failed are often the result of the customer being bullied, deceived, exploited, or convinced of some supposedly legal obligation. As an example of the latter, in Victoria power companies received a so-called Government "mandate" to push smart meters as part of the global energy efficiency"and surveillance agenda. However, uncertainty remains as to what extent this is enforceable against the properly expressed wishes of a third party, such as the account holder or occupant. This is probably why thousands of customers who steadfastly resisted have been bypassed for installation, at least so far. Here is the paid advice received from one Barrister on this critical point. http://www.emraware.com/documents/smart_meter_legal_advice.pdf
Who Owns What?
The actual meter box, wiring, fuse panel and underlying building structure are generally the property of the titled landowner. However, the meters are normally owned by the electricity distributor. According to the terms of a typical service contract, access must be granted for the purpose of data collection, repairs and maintenance. "Upgrades", as in smart meters, are not necessarily specified. Check your Contract. What does this mean in practice when the owner or occupier does not want to be "upgraded" from their existing analogue meter to a "smart" one? The term "Mexican stand-off" comes to mind. The owner has a Common Law right not to be trespassed against or have possessions modified, devalued, or "damaged" without consent.
Here is the relevant Australian Court ruling that can be cited to service providers and the police as a precedent for the right not to be trespassed. Make a copy and keep it by your door.http://www.emraware.com/documents/plenty_v_dillon.pdf
Apartment buildings have banks of smart meters which subject adjacent residents to even higher levels of EMR.
Even if the building is a rental property, the occupant is lawfully entitled to certain benefits such as safety, privacy, and enjoyment. However, prior to any any action against installation of a smart meter, it would be prudent to ensure the landlord, or his authorised agent, are "on side" and willing to support you. You might find it motivating to suggest that the increasing negative publicity surrounding smart metering could, for all future times, make the property less attractive to prospective tenants, or buyers.
What many do not realise until too late is that their "consent" for a smart meter has already been given; not specifically but by legal implication arising from accepting the electricity service to begin with. This bring us to the first step the refusal procedure, withdrawing the implied consent of the account holder. One objective in doing so might be to "protect" the box against unauthorised tampering, which thereby frustrates operations upon it such as may be required to fit a smart meter. The hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide who don't want a smart meter would much prefer a simple "opt" out scheme of the type already offered in some localities. Unfortunately, this freedom of choice usually only transpires as an industry concession to the type of direct actions described below.
One factor seems to be how lavishly any display of refusal is made. Courts are rigged to maintain the status quo. There is a presumption in law that the "average" citizen, no matter how well informed, is incompetent to argue on matters that imply technical expertise. Irrespective of relevance or common sense, such testimony or evidence may simply not be admitted. This antiquated view, coupled with any historical "acquiescence" on one's part to corporate will, tends to undermine the validity of objecting. Consequently, there is benefit in displaying a high degree of competency, preferably over the longterm; or finding a suitably credentialed advocate.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/incompetent
Most developed countries, Australia included, are signatories to various international (UN) human rights treaties. Provisions against unfair discrimination may apply to involuntary exposure of EHS suffers to ambient EMR. Others dealing with medical procedures specify that informed consent must first be obtained. This could apply to accidental "microwave therapy" from wireless networks since they precipitate known biological effects. Depending on the jurisdiction, individuals may also have Common Law rights relating to nuisance, property damage, and invasion of privacy which over-ride the statutory laws and lax safety standards put in place to protect industry and government revenue.https://www.humanrights.gov.au/common-law-rights-human-rights-scrutiny-and-rule-law
Smart meters have been the cause of numerous fires worldwide with resulting deaths and loss of property.
- See more at: http://www.emraware.com/opposition.html#sthash.hXEiqHNh.dpuf
1 - The Letter
This takes the form of a signed legal Notice sent by registered post, stating that one does not wish to have a smart meter installed for the reasons given. The latter could relate to reasonable concerns over loss of privacy, impaired health, fire hazard, or potentially unfair and discriminatory billing practices. There are a number of examples of such letters on the internet, which can be adapted to suit individual circumstances. Also see the two in the section on smart gas and water meters at the bottom of this page.
http://www.emraware.com.documents/GENERIC - Smart Meter Refusal Letter.docx
It is advisable to support any objections with credible legal or scientific evidence. For example, enclosing with the Notice references to peer-reviewed literature on the adverse biological effects of microwaves of the type emitted by the device in question. This has the added effect of forewarning the recipient of probable damage or injury, and thus making them potentially liable for subsequent negligent action or willful avoidance on their part relative to your request.
Does it pay to plead your case or try to reason logically with official industry or government bodies. In short, no. They are collectively pursuing an intractable economic and control agenda, and are only interested in neutralising your opposition. If you are lucky, you may receive a canned reply telling you there is nothing to worry about. The objective of any such exchange is not negotiation but to simply wear you down to a state of hopelessness. It may be more productive to join with others and approach some of the politicians or legal advocates who are attuned to the cause.
Where to send the Notices? You are probably purchasing electricity from a "retailer" who buys it from a "distributor", or wholesaler. The former utilises the metered data for billing, while the latter normally owns the meter itself and is responsible for its upkeep. Under Australian consumer law both the retailer and distributor can be subject to liability for products which are defective or cause damage or injury. So, to avoid future buck-passing, address a separate refusal Notice to both parties. Copies of these signed letters can be fastened within the meter box to advise contractors that their employer has been duly notified. Prior to their arrival, take photos of the original condition of the box and its contents for documentary purposes.
2 - The Sign
To deter unauthorised entry, or "trespass", a plastic laminated sign can be firmly secured to the outer surface of the meter box door declaring the same intent as the Notice above. Put one on the inside as well for good measure. This should be signed in ink by the occupant and/or owner.
Here is one possible design. There are many more online.
From prior indications, dwelling within this "no trespass" gray area for an indefinite period seldom results in a disconnection, even though threats are frequently made to do so. More likely, it will trigger a campaign of innuendo and baffling jargon, concocted by the best legal minds. To inhibit this from meaningfully progressing, never let them take it up a level by maneuvering you into "denying access" to their meter. "Of course you can access your meter, just don't trespass any of my property".
- See more at: http://www.emraware.com/opposition.html#sthash.hXEiqHNh.dpuf