Qld, NSW and SA prepares to resist smart meter rollout


 house cartoonAGL, a large Australian electricity retailer, is about to attempt to rollout another mandatory SMART METER rollout in Qld, NSW and SA, even after the abysmal failure of the Victorian rollout. They are so sheepish about it they won’t even refer to the Active Stream meters as ‘smart meters’. They are now calling them ‘digital meters’ to avoid the stigma associated with the disastrous Victorian rollout.

And they are cunning enough to say it is not mandatory with the following excerpt from the AGL Faqs page


  • Q Can I choose not to get a new meter? And how?
    While we think you could benefit from a new digital meter being installed, the choice is yours and you can choose not to.

  • Q Is this a mandatory roll out of digital meters?
    No. The choice to have a new digital meter installed is entirely yours.

And yet, AGL does not tell you that you have to actively say no in the legal form of a notice letter sent to both AGL the retailer and Energex the distributor. You also have to clearly display this Notice letter near the securely locked meter box.

Unfortunately for consumers, there is a legal argument that by accepting electricity from your provider, there is ‘IMPLIED CONSENT’. You don’t believe me? Read on from the AGL page…

  • Q What if I’m not home – will the installation still go ahead?
    If there is clear access to your meter box, the meter installation will go ahead without you being home.

  • Q I rent my property and not sure if my landlord wants the digital meter installed?
    We do not need permission from the landlord in order to install a digital meter. We can exchange the meter irrespective of whether you are a renter or not.

  • Q Can I change back to an older style meter if I don’t like the digital meter?
    Unfortunately not. Meters cannot be changed after they have been replaced by a digital meter.

So, if you have even the slightest worry about the 50,000 microwatts of non-ionising electro-magnetic frequency radiation – in the form of data radio signals – pouring out of smart meters in regular intervals all day and night in the close proximity of your home, you must act now to stop the installation in your house, office or school. And you must pass this information on to all your loved ones and acquaintances residing in Qld, NSW and SA, as a matter of urgency.

Here are the 11 steps:

  1. Confirm the address of both your retailer and distributor from your bill or website (via the electricity distributor look-up tool). For instance, my retailer is AGL and my distributor is Energex (Energex sells wholesale electricity to AGL)

  2. Write a Notice letter – see my sample in the next blog – and post, by registered post, to both companies, ensuring you get a confirmation reply

  3. Lock up your analogue meter box with a good lock, one that can’t be cut with bolt-cutters

  4. Make the meter data (which belongs to the electricity distributor) accessible to be read

  5. Display a sticker – see the 2 samples

  6. Display a copy of your Notice in a secure weather-proof way

  7. Be wary that it might be called an ‘upgrade’ aka digital/smart meter installation

  8. Stay calm if the electricity meter installer harasses you

  9. Point out that YOU, as the legal occupant, own the meter box itself (renter or landholder) and have taken appropriate legal steps to protect it

  10. Point out that the meter installer is liable for WILFUL AVOIDANCE if he/she continues to attempt to install the ‘digital/smart’ meter against your wishes

  11. You have a common law right to protect your property – the meter box – from trespass. You have the right to resist having your possessions modified, devalued or damaged without consent.

Just to confirm who owns what:

Meter collationTHE ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTOR (e.g. Energex) owns the electricity provided by the retailer (AGL).
THE ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTOR also owns the meter itself and the meter data
THE LEGAL OCCUPANT (RENTER OR LANDHOLDER) owns everything else i.e. the wiring, the fuse panel, the metal box and the underlying building structure


If all that makes you feel nervous, compare it to the doubt of having the smart meter there forever more, especially in the light of recent programs like ABC’s Catalyst, highlighting the dangers of Wi-Fi in the form of mobile phones, cordless phones and wireless routers.

In this atmosphere of world-wide doubt and questioning of wireless radiation and its harmful health effects, the electrical companies should not be accelerating their digital smart meter rollout in this underhand way to maximise their profits while they think they still can!

STOP smart meter sign UK


stop sign trespass 99kb


13 Responses to Qld, NSW and SA prepares to resist smart meter rollout

  1. S. Clifford May 26, 2016 at 9:09 am #

    Thanks for this. I wish I had read it before getting our electrician out. AGL left a card advising the chip board behind meter had to be upgraded. Our electrician’s words were “This is a crock of shit”. Luckily he didn’t charge us for the call out fee. I’m sure most electricians would. I’m in Brisbane Qld.

    • Sue Nelson May 26, 2016 at 9:47 am #

      Hi there in Brisbane! Do I understand you correctly that AGL changed your old analogue meter to a new digital meter under the guise of replacing the chipboard within the meter box?! In other words, AGL gained access to your property – the chip board behind the meter – in order to install a digital meter (their property) without your full consent or even knowledge that it would be happening. Unbelievable! But scary! Thanks for the warning – time to get the message out…

  2. Sue Nelson May 27, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    Hello again! I just re-read your comment, and I see that you narrowly avoided an ‘upgrade’ to a digital meter, thanks to the good bullshit-detector of your very helpful Electrician! I’m relieved for you but still concerned about any sly tactics that may be considered by the electricity companies.

  3. raewyn Galyer July 11, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    Hi Sue,

    I have received a letter from Energex advising me that they will be installing a smart metre at my property on Wednesday 13 July 2016
    I have printed your form and will put this on the metre box .

    • Sue Nelson July 11, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

      Hi Raewyn,
      Thanks for that warning in advance for other readers. You will, of course, need to lock up your meter as well as display your legal objection letter. Use a good padlock that can’t be forced. If you don’t lock it up, and Energex comes while you are away, they will install it and argue in hindsight that it can’t now be removed. The damage will be done, despite your letter of objection.

      I’m currently looking into a letter from Energex stating that all analogues must be replaced by ‘interval’ meters.

      More on that soon…

  4. Rob September 8, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    I’m in South Australia and have had one big battle trying to get my Active Stream meter reverted back to an SAPN one so most any retailer can read my meter. AGL said that anyone can read their meter so I tried several, all said no, it’s a proprietary one and they had no wish or interest to install software just to read an AGL meter. One that said no was Simply Energy but in the end, with help from EWOSA, Simply Energy and SAPN it looks like SAPN will finally get the meter changes early next week. What a relief, and why did I choose Simply Energy, no tariff difference between winter and summer, a base tariff much cheaper than AGL plus as a member of the RAA, a 30% discount on usage charges.

    What is so annoying is the lies I was told from AGL about anyone could read their meters, information supplied by Active Stream, when I asked for verification from just one other retailer, deadly silence.

    I really urge consumers to request a meter change, type 4 meter with a type 5 Manually Read Interval meter (MRIM), you can then elect to stay with AGL or, at a moment’s notice, change to another retailer, there is nothing worse than being locked into something you were never informed of the consequences.

  5. Bill August 8, 2017 at 11:16 pm #

    If anyone has had a manually read meter installed,could you please tell me what make and model of meter has been put in.

  6. Delveen Chandler September 17, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    My permanent place of residence is currently rented out while I am travelling. Can I do anything to avoid this change or is it out of my hands since I am not their customer?

    • Sue Nelson September 17, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

      Hi Delveen, I don’t see why you can’t send your own letter to the electricity wholesaler and retailer, and ask your tenants to lock up the meter box. Explain your wishes to the tenants, and maybe offer to pay the expenses of buying the lock for the box, if they will do it for you? Hope that helps…
      Ciao Sue

  7. Serena March 13, 2018 at 5:04 pm #

    Hi there, can you post a picture or describe what the smart meter looks like. We were home when the smart meter installer came by and we said no way. He was surprised but very nice about our wishes. So he left but I’m not sure if they went ahead with it another time that we weren’t home. I’d like to know what it looks like just to check. I’m super sensitive to electricity so I’d really like to be diligent. Thanks for your information, Serena

    • Sue Nelson March 16, 2018 at 7:49 am #

      Hi Serena, Digital or ‘smart’ meters quite simply have a digital face similar to a digital clockface, while the old safe analogues have the data wheel whirring around. Check out my blogs for a picture sample.

  8. Julia July 21, 2020 at 5:20 pm #

    We lost our old Analogue meter in a shed fire, the insurance company transferred the electricity box to the house, and said we had to call AGL (our current provider) for a new meter. So far we haven’t decided who to go with. Energex tried to send someone to fit a smart meter but I sent him away and said we don’t want one come back with an analogue. No one has come back, but AGL is sending us monthly estimates to pay, even though we were without power for a month and had to use a generator.

    I am trying to find a provider who will fit an analogue meter. Can anyone help? Or can I get an electrician to buy and install one, if so, any recommendations? Cheers Julia

  9. Sue Nelson July 21, 2020 at 5:50 pm #

    Hi Julia, that’s unfortunate, sorry to hear about the shed fire! Regarding the ‘undetermined’ monthly charges from AGL, you might like to contact the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) https://www.aer.gov.au

    AER is part of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, responsible for regulating the wholesale electricity and gas markets in Australia.

    REgarding the obtainment of an Analogue meter, try http://www.stopsmartmeters.com.au Apparently 2 brands are ITRON and MACK. But, your big challenge is to find a sympathetic electrician to safely install the analogue meter. Once again, enquire with the stopsmartmeter website people.

    Once you have done all that (not easy, I know!) you might need someone to advocate for you in your negotiations with your Electricity supplier to have it manually read for a small fee. I would apply to AER to help you with that, if they will. Or get advice from STopsmartmeter people.

    I hope that is helpful in your area and your case, and good luck! I hope you can follow through on that.

    Warm Regards

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