Peter Nielsen, Byron Bay
On page 22 of last week’s print edition of The Echo, there was a write-up on smart meters.
Readers may also wish to know of the public opposition that has occurred worldwide to installation of these devices, and the reasons.
Their seemingly benign purpose is to record your power usage, moment-by-moment, and then convey these data wirelessly to the supplier. In doing so, microwaves are periodically emitted to which some people are sensitive. Smart meters may even ‘legally’ utilise your household wiring as the transmitting antenna!
While touted for ‘helping’ customers use less electricity, the general impact is ever-higher bills, enabled by the capability to more finely increment peak-demand periods. In effect, the customer base is profiled en masse so as to extract maximum profit while supplying the least in return.
This ‘flexible’ strategy also permits volatility in business costs or power outages to be passed directly on to the consumer by trading availability against demand. Smart meter billing discriminates against pensioners and the disabled who must occupy their home throughout the day. The 24-hour, real-time metering even allows determination of which appliances were in use and when. Apart from raising privacy issues, this provides a feed of commercially saleable information.
Rather than waiting to evaluate the recent, and hugely unpopular, roll-out of smart meters in Victoria, the Gillard government is poised to accelerate their deployment nationwide. Soon they will be fiddling in your meter box.
To find out more, do an internet search for ‘stop smart meters’. The latest issue of Silicon Chip, the Australian electronics enthusiast magazine, has a full-page editorial against smart meters; and they should know.