It appears power firms in New Zealand, and perhaps elsewhere, do not have a clear or a consistent policy for people who either refuse a smart meter or who request that a smart meter be removed from their home.
In some cases, home owners are being charged $90 to have a smart meter removed and replaced with an analogue one. Many people are happy to pay this for the peace of mind they want.
However, we believe the consumer – the paying customer and client of the power firms – should not have to pay for something they did not want in the first place.
The roll-out of smart meters is something the power firms have decided to do without consultation with their customers.
Power firms do not have permission to change a meter to a smart meter just by changing their terms and conditions without consultation with the customer (therefore, the terms and conditions is not a binding contract – both parties did not agree).
We would like to see power firms change out smart meters with an analogue one on request, without a penalty needing to be paid by the consumer.
Consumers should also be refunded any monies they have paid to either refuse a smart meter or to have one removed from their property.
Refusing a smart meter should not be used as an excuse by power retailers to demand more cash from their customers.
We believe that people should have the choice as to what technology is attached to their home.