Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Smart meters are plain dumb

Smart meters are plain dumb

New Zealand has some of the dumbest electricity 'smart' meters in the world, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer.

“Imagine being able to set washing machines, dryers, dishwashers to turn on in the middle of the night when power is cheap. Or being able to see and modify second, by every second, electricity usage in the home on a computer, TV, smart phone. That was the real possibility five years ago when smart electricity meters began to be installed.

“Indeed, in a speech in 2009, Gerry Brownlee, then Energy Minister, boasted about the wonderful future that lay ahead for consumers.
“But the government failed to set minimum standards for smart meters, unlike the rest of the world. Instead, it argued the market would take care of setting standards.

“As a result successive ministers including current Minister of Energy Simon Bridges, have deprived more than one million Kiwi households, where the dumb meters have been installed, that wonderful opportunity.

“With Kiwis programming their power usage for other, cheaper times of the day, electricity peaks that occur in the evening would no longer spike upwards.
“Less demand at the peaks reduces the need to switch on expensive gas fired ‘peaker’ plants – from which electricity companies make huge profits. And, the less gas used for electricity generation means lower carbon emissions.

“For just $20 extra cost, according to the Commissioner for the Environment, smart meters could have included a chip that would allow for consumer vastly more options. To retrofit an already installed ‘smart meter’ will cost $175.
“Countries, such as Australia, UK and most of the OECD have set minimum standards for smart meters. A Labour led Government will set the standard for smart meters so that Kiwis get the benefit.

“Right now the real winners are the power companies. They receive excellent data, every 30 minutes, from more than one million smart meters installed in households across New Zealand about each household’s electricity use. But having consumers conserve power, economise or take control over their power use is not great for their business,” says David Shearer.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news