Thursday, 13 September 2012

Electricity. "Smart Meters". What's the Legal Position?

Smart Meter Dangers: "The Health Hazards of Wireless Electro-Magnetic Radiation Exposure"  (July 2012)    

"In the US, there has never been a mandate to force these utility meters on millions of unsuspecting people. There has been no Precautionary Principle used, while corporate greed has abounded. Various utility companies have not told their customers of the dangers.  What they told their customers about these new meters was that it would "update" the grid  (exactly what I was told)  ... and help them control individual usage." 

"Customers have not been told about the serious health problems that these RF* pulsing meters cause. We have been given no informed consent to this dangerous but invisible exposure."

By Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri   
Global Research, July 13, 2012

* RF =  Radio Frequency

Currently, "Smart Meters"  (aka. Advanced Meters/ Smart Boxes) are being taken out of homes all over the UK, Europe and North America because of fire risk, negative impacts on people's health - including tinnitus, brain tumours, and cancers, and the debilitating effects of "Electro-Hypersensitivity". 

I have a close friend who lives in Sweden and I see the effects of his 'hyper-sensitivity' on an almost daily basis (Skype).  He's a computer programmer... What to do?? Lose your income or your health ??  He gets extremely 'foggy' and becomes extremely lethargic and depressed.   He also has a "Smart Meter" on his house, much to my horror, so he's continually 'bathed' in RF's and EMF's. So are many of us right now being 'bathed' in these invisible radiation waves...  ALL THE TIME  : (

Smart Meters are expensive to install.  The cost of installation is being loaded back on your power bill.  Your energy retailer will probably tell you that you need to upgrade to an "Advanced Meter" or "Smart Box" (all different brand names for the generic name, "Smart Meter") because it is "demanded under law and needs to be completed by 2015".  This is not entirely true.  All meters do need to be 'upgraded' (or the old meter just recalibrated) by 2015 which is a part of the NZ Electricity Authority policy...  this is true.  But they DO NOT have to be replaced by Smart Meters/ Advanced Meters/ Smart Boxes.  Below is an audio clip with Amanda Forsey of the NZ Electricity Authority stating clearly that there IS NO LAW stating that Electricity retailers (Genesis, Meridian, Contact, and such... )  are meant to be putting in Smart Meters...  there is NO SUCH LAW !!!     Audio file

Very nice new analogue meters are available as seen here:

ACTARIS ACE1000 ELECTRIC METER - Click Image to Close

Please attached the PDF (below) to an e-mail your energy retailer and demand a new analogue meter to replace your 'Advanced Meter'.  Don't back down. You are WELL WITHIN YOUR RIGHTS under the Consumer Guarantees Act (1993) as will be cited later in this article.

Consumer Guarantees Act 1993                      
Public Act 1993 No 91.  Date of assent   20 August 1993

Part 4:  Supply of services

29Guarantee as to fitness for particular purpose
Subject to section 41, where services are supplied to a consumer there is a guarantee that the service, and any product resulting from the service, will be—
  • (a)reasonably fit for any particular purpose; and
  • (b)of such a nature and quality that it can reasonably be expected to achieve any particular result,—
that the consumer makes known to the supplier, before or at the time of the making of the contract for the supply of the service, as the particular purpose for which the service is required or the result that the consumer desires to achieve, as the case may be, except where the circumstances show that—
  • (c)the consumer does not rely on the supplier's skill or judgment; or
  • (d)it is unreasonable for the consumer to rely on the supplier's skill or judgment.
Compare: Trade Practices Act 1974 s 74(2) (Aust)

The situation is:  
  • there are two "suppliers"  
  • there are two "consumers" or "customers" 
The "suppliers" are "Advanced Metering Services" and "your energy retailer" - Genesis, Meridian, Contact... etc.  Advanced Metering Services are not a listed business in the phone directory or on any online directory.  "Advanced Metering Services" instead seems to be a "Contracting List of Providers" who contract to Genesis, Meridian, Contact... and so on. 

The "consumers" are "your energy retailer" - Genesis, Meridian, Contact... etc. and "yourself". Therefore, when reading Part 4.29 one must remember that there are two different suppliers and two different consumers who both  may have different 'goals' in mind. Therefore, the reading of this legislation may be quite complex. 

I would therefore suggest that you read through the legislation twice: 
(A)  the contractors as the "supplier" and the energy retailer as the "consumer" 
(B)  the energy retailer as the "supplier" and yourself as the "consumer" 

If your reading of the legislation is like mine, you will see that the Consumer Guarantee applies very well to relationship (A) but does not stand up in relationship (B). 

In relationship (B), "the consumer desires to achieve" a meter reading that does NOT impact on any other primary aspect of their life, such as their health. Therefore, my rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act (1993) have been breached. Studies now conclusively show a large number of ill-effects that develop in bio-organisms (including humans) when exposed to pulsed EMF's and RF's. I am well within my rights to seek redress...  In this case, to have the "Advanced Meter" removed permanently, in favour of an analogue meter, which are freely available in the marketplace (advertisement above).  

43No contracting out except for business transactions
  • (1)Subject to this section and to sections 4041, and 43A, the provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in any agreement.
    (2)Nothing in subsection (1) shall apply to an agreement made between a supplier and a consumer who acquires, or holds himself or herself out as acquiring, under the agreement, goods or services for the purposes of a business provided either—
    • (a)that the agreement is in writing; or
    • (b)where it is not possible to conclude an agreement in writing because the supplier is unaware of the acceptance by the consumer of the supplier's offer at the time of acceptance, that the supplier has clearly displayed the terms and conditions of the service at every place of the supplier's business.

I added this clause here because in my case certainly, there was no "agreement in writing" and no clear display of the "terms and conditions of the service at every place of the supplier's business" nor of what exactly the new meter was that they were providing.  There was a lack of eduction to myself (the customer) in the matter and a blatant non-use of the "red flag" term "Smart Meter" in any of my dealings initially or later in my more recent phone calls with my electricity supplier, Genesis Energy.

Establish the "Attitude of Active Resistance" Now !!!  
Please refer to the following article on this blog by the same name.

Below are the first few pages (excerpts) of the December 2009 Report put out by the New Zealand Electricity Authority which is Wellington-based (NZ's capital city) on the 'roll-out' of "Advanced Metering" or Smart Meters in New Zealand.  I've added my comments within the text.

"Report on  Advanced Metering Infrastructure in New Zealand: Roll-out and Requirements

3 December 2009
Executive summary

1.  Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) links ‘smart’ electricity meters into the electricity market via a communications network... Vodafone is the 'network'

2. The current roll-out of AMI is being undertaken by the industry voluntarily, and at no additional direct cost to consumers

There are many, many testimonies to the fact that people's domestic electricity bills increased after the installation of the "upgraded" "Advanced Meters" to their homes. People suspect that their Smart Meter/ Advanced Meter/ Smart Box may have sent their electricity retailer erroneous information. Besides which, how else are our energy retailers going to pay their contractors "Advanced Meter Services" for the cost of installation and materials?? The cost is $450/smart meter, materials only, I believe. And as we all know, contractors charge like a wounded bull for their time. Of course the cost falls back on the consumer  : (  Point 2. here clearly states that the burden of the cost of installing Smart Meters is not to fall back on the consumer.  If you've got past year's electricity accounts, it would be good for you to compare them.  I have accounts back to 2009.  I always keep my accounts...  and yes, I will be checking my bills for the last 3 years this week to see what surcharges I can find. btw. I saw an article during the week that said that NZ'ers have been over-charged $1,000 per person from the period 2006-2012 (sorry, no link. I'll add the link when I find it again). Wow...  That's 4,000,000,000 (4 billion!!) in overcharges from our collective electricity retailers. No wonder they're always posting an "annual profit". This 'profit' comes off the sweat of our backs and goes straight into the back pockets of the Share Holders - in this case, primarily the Government - ie: the National Government !!! No Shame !!!!  How Dare You ???   

3.The Electricity Commission (Commission) is required to:

•   investigate whether the roll-out of AMI should be regulated; and
•   make a recommendation to the Minister of Energy and Resources (Minister) on whether technical standards for AMI systems should be regulated, or whether the voluntary AMI guidelines currently in place (Guidelines) are adequate...

Recommendation to the Minister

4. The Commission’s recommendation is that it is not necessary to extensively regulate the roll-out of AMI at this time as the benefits of regulation do not outweigh the costs...  

Please write to the Minister of Energy, Phil Heatley, with your concerns as per The American Academy of Environmental Medicine Press Release, 12 April 2012. Please point up to the Honerable Phil Heatly that:

"The results of these studies have only become known recently, ie: after it was decided to allow Smart Metering to come into NZ... therefore the whole discussion needs to be opened up once again, in the light of these new evidences.   The decision to allow the installation of Smart Meters needs to be REVOKED until a full and public discussion has taken place." 

If you're stuck for words, please feel free to copy-paste any of the above text under "Recommendation to the Minister".

5. There are significant differences between the market structure in New Zealand and market structures in international jurisdictions....

[Please view original document to view the many points listed... an important one added here]:

•  the fact that New Zealand already has a functioning peak load control system (the ripple control system)

... which deems it therefore unnecessary to "upgrade" to this new system

6.  Other reasons why the Commission is recommending that it is not necessary to extensively regulate the roll-out of AMI are that...

7.  However, the Commission considers that some technical aspects of AMI systems should be regulated...  

They will certainly be wanting to regulate against Smart Meters once they become aware of the American Association of Environmental Medicine's April Press Release !!  

The onus is on us all to inform (write to) our Members of Parliament and provide them with this link:

8. The Commission has been progressing its consideration of regulating those aspects of AMI systems since October 2008...  and signalled that it is likely that the Commission will recommend that the [Energy] Minister regulate some technical aspects of AMI systems.  

With everybody (you) sending this link to Phil Heatly, hopefully the Smart Meter system will be regulated out !!!

9.  In addition to the recommendations set out above, the Commission is also recommending that the Guidelines are amended to... 

10.  The Commission will continue to monitor the development of AMI standards and technology, and will review its recommendations should standards, technology or, practice change to the extent that further regulation becomes desirable.

This is the 'out clause'     : )

1. Introduction and purpose of this report

1.1  Introduction

1.1.1  ‘Smart’ electricity meters, and the infrastructure that accompanies them, can provide a richer information base with which consumers can make better decisions about electricity use... 

I generally get up and turn the switch off.

1.1.2  Those ‘smarter’ meters can also provide better information to electricity lines companies about network performance and consumers consumption patterns...  

Electricity has always been delivered in the past without such monitoring. In the event of a snow-storm, flood or earthquake all of which are very prevalent in NZ, a 'Smart Meter' is made redundant and is therefore a worthless tool when comparing the risks to health - heart disease, brain tumours, cancer, tinnitus, irritability, ADHD, seizures, and so on...  

Note: I work in metal health and I have wondered about the effects of these RF's and EMF's on the people we work with. The RF's and EMF's charge the tiny quantum atoms and particles in our neighbourhoods with radiation that does not work in harmony with human/ animal physiology and neurology. I'm sure the 'mental health' statistics in NZ would rapidly drop if we were to adopt a "Zero Tolerance to RF's & EMFs" (emitting over a certain level) nationally. 

1.1.3  These “smarter” electricity meters are called advanced meters. Although the term “smart meters” is often used, the Commission uses the term “advanced meters”, in line with international convention.

Why?? "Smart Meter" is a 'red flag' for many consumers. 

Are the terms "Advanced Meter" and "upgrading" used so as not to alert consumers that what is actually being installed is the much-loathed "Smart Meter" ??

1.1.4  Advanced meters are electronic electricity meters that measure and record electricity consumption within programmable time periods...

Why??  This technology brings very little advantage to a residential situation, and much ill-health.    Ref: The American Association of Environmental Medicine

1.1.5  In addition, to being able to transmit information to retailers, advanced meters are also capable of receiving information, upgrades and instructions that are sent remotely by the retailer.

ie: the "power" very literally is in the hands of the retailer.  The consumer has very few controls over this system. We are being monitored !!!  ref: May 2012 visit by American experts in surveillance to Wellington, NZ  ref: Orwell's Big Brother ('1984' novel)  

1.1.6  Advanced meters are only part of the technology currently being rolled out. The two-way transfer of information is possible because advanced meters are connected to back office systems by way of a communications network.

Bron: That 'communications network' is Vodafone. Why is it that there was a public hew and cry over Cell Phone Towers being erected throughout NZ cities and particularly ones near to our schools ?? Because it was acknowledged that the radio wave frequencies being sent via these towers are detrimental to the development of young brains. 

Why therefore, are we NOT DEMANDING that these same radio wave frequency receivers and transmitters that are now attached to our houses in the form of "Advanced Meters", BE REMOVED !! ??? Children, the elderly, the vulnerable, the infirm and the mentally unwell live in these homes.




1.1.7  Developments in AMI have the potential to allow additional peak demand to be managed...  advanced meters can help manage electricity usage and, when coupled with appropriate tariffs, can enable greater consumer participation in the electricity market.

My "consumer participation" this winter has been negligible...  and I have frozen my butt off under layers of clothes and blankets... purely because I refuse to cave in to the extortions made by my electricity retailer !!!  Genesis Energy !!

1.1.8  There has been much public discussion in New Zealand over recent months about AMI...

So why isn't the New Zealand Electricity Commission listening to these concerns in an open manner, from a human heart-felt point of view, rather than pandering yet again to the whining and demands of the Corporations who will undoubtedly gain a financial benefit from these 'roll-outs' ???

1.1.9   In particular, it has been suggested that the roll-out of AMI should be extensively regulated, as it is in many other countries.

Yes.  I bet it was.  Thank you Electricity Commission for standing up to these Hounds of Misery.

1.1.10  In 2007, the Commission...  published the Advanced Metering Policy (Policy) and the Guidelines on Advanced Metering Infrastructure v2.0 (Guidelines) in May 2008.

1.1.11   The Guidelines set out recommended minimum standards for AMI systems being installed in New Zealand. However, the Guidelines are recommendations only

Participants are not required to 
comply with them.

Hmmm...  That sounds very interesting.... 

"Remember, there is no law that requires you to have a smart meter – listen here."

Please listen to this audio file linked above which includes a statement from Amanda Forsey at the NZ Electricity Authority.  It's a gem  : )  You may need to quote Amanda when you phone your electricity retailer (Genesis, Meridian, Contact... etc.)  Take notes, if you think this is going to help you when speaking to your electricity retailer, to get the Smart Meter removed from your property.

Acknowledgement:  A BIG THANK YOU to Steve Hart  for making this information freely and publicly available.  Thank you Steve.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment. All comments are moderated - BronnyNZ