• 19 APR 13
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    SMART METERS IN VICTORIA: INFORMATION AND CONCERNS

    Highly recommended is a recently written report on the situation in Victoria, Australia that examines the ongoing problems with the roll-out of smart meters in that state.

    Don
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    SMART METERS IN VICTORIA: INFORMATION AND CONCERNS

    Version 3
    Updated March 2013
    Janobai Smith

    Excerpt:

    Background The Victorian government mandated the installation of smart meters for every household and small business in 2006, after consultation with power distributors, as part of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) program. Replacement of meters started in 2009. Power distributors were mandated to use their ”˜best endeavours”™ to install smart meters at all households and small businesses by the end of 2013. The Auditor-General concluded in its November 2009 Audit Summary of the AMI project that ”˜the cost-benefit study behind the AMI decision was flawed…”™ and that there were ”˜significant unexplained discrepancies between the industry”™s economic estimates and the studies done in Victoria and at the national level”™ (Victorian Auditor-General 2009, p. 4). More recently, in ”˜Lessons from the Victorian Smart meter roll-out”™, the Productivity Commission”™s Electricity Network Regulatory Frameworks draft report states ”˜Overall, it appears that the Victorian decision to roll-out smart meters was premature and/or poorly planned with inadequate knowledge about smart meter technologies, their costs and associated risks”™ (Australian Government Productivity Commission 2012, Ch. 10, p. 346).
    SNIP

    Topics examined:

    Ӣ What are they?
    Ӣ Background
    Ӣ Submissions should be public documents
    Ӣ What are the concerns about smart meters?
    Ӣ Time of Use (TOU) pricing
    Ӣ Billing Errors
    Ӣ Additional costs being imposed on households without any apparent benefit
    Ӣ Smart meters do not contribute to Federal energy market reform
    Ӣ Cost blow outs
    Ӣ Privacy concerns
    Ӣ Certificates of Electrical Safety
    Ӣ Ongoing safety concerns
    Ӣ Fire risk
    Ӣ Health concerns
    Ӣ In home Display unit as part of Home Area Network (HAN)
    ”¢ No ”˜opt-out”™ provision available to customers
    Ӣ Concern about drying up of independently sourced funding for scientific research
    Ӣ Environmental concerns
    Ӣ Concern about erosion of democratic rights
    Ӣ Precautionary principle
    Ӣ Conclusion
    Ӣ REFERENCES

    Read the full report here

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