Thursday, 17 May 2012
SMART METERS ARE SAFE CONCLUDES ENERGY SAFETY REGULATOR
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) has today released its draft report into the safety of Victoria”™s advanced metering infrastructure (smart meters).
The report has found that smart meters are safe and don”™t pose any greater safety risk than older electronic or electromechanical meters.
ESV began its review into the safety of smart meters following a handful of meter failures in Melbourne”™s northern suburbs in December and January. While the failures were initially thought to have been caused by a high-voltage injection, subsequent investigation determined criminal damage was the cause. Police are investigating.
The report has found:
”¢ When smart meters fail, they fail safely and potentially reduce the risk of personal damage and injury.
”¢ There is no evidence to suggest that smart meters are exploding or causing fires.
”¢ Recent confirmed examples of latent meter failure are attributable to criminal damage rather than HV injection.
”¢ There is no evidence to suggest the safety risks associated with smart meters are any greater than older style electronic or electromechanical meters.
”¢ The smart meters being installed in Victoria meet current Australian Standards including those related to safety, and those standards are robust and appropriate.
”¢ The electricity companies are following Victorian Electricity Supply Industry (VESI) minimum procedures for responding to a HV injection when it occurs, which includes requirements to inspect metering equipment and conduct testing as required.
”¢ The procedures that describe what is acceptable in relation to the condition of meter boards and panels prior to a meter installation were found to be appropriate and suitable for the purpose.
Victoria”™s Director of Energy Safety, Paul Fearon, said the draft report was now open for public comment and submissions were invited to ensure that it addresses the key issues that are of concern to the community.
“There has been a lot of debate in the community recently about the safety of smart meters, and a lot of that discussion has not been based on facts or evidence,” Mr Fearon said. “This is unfortunate because it has caused a great deal of concern, particularly among the elderly and vulnerable.
“Our conclusions are based on research, specific inquiries and investigation. On all the available evidence, I have no hesitation in assuring Victorians that smart meters are safe.
“We will nevertheless continue to monitor the rollout, investigate incidents and assess trends to ensure that the safety of Victorians remains paramount.”
Mr Fearon said a copy of the report was available from the ESV website at www.esv.vic.gov.au, and submissions would be received until 15 June. They should be forwarded to email@example.com.
After assessing any comments and information received, ESV will release a final report by the end of July.
For further information:
Sharon Rainsbury 03 9203 9744 Executive Manager 0427 990 834 Media and Communications