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Powercor assures meters are safe

Powercor has stepped up a message that new digital Smart Meters being installed in household meter boxes across the Wimmera are safe and are simply a part of an evolution in technology.
Corporate affairs manager Hugo Armstrong stressed that the new meters posed no more health or safety threat to people than many common electrical or electronic household items.
He made his comments in response to community fears and protests as Powercor staff returned to the region for the second phase of a western Victorian Smart Meter roll-out program.
“We encourage people who have concerns to look at and consider the ‘real’ science. I’m sure if they do that they will feel much more comfortable,” he said.
Powercor swapped about 50,000 ageing household analogue meters for Smart Meters across western Victoria  last year. It hopes to have about 95,000 in place by the end of winter.
“We working in the Horsham region this month and heading west to Dimboola-Nhill-Kaniva this week and over to Warracknabeal and Stawell and Ararat in May,” Mr Armstrong said.
Health concerns
Mr Armstrong dismissed community concerns that the meters, designed for the easy transfer of information, might threaten the privacy of householders.
He said government protocols meant ‘very’ high standards of privacy and security had been built into the Smart Meter program.
“People do not need to worry about the ability of unauthorised parties to get access to their meter information. It can’t and won’t happen,” he said.
Mr Armstrong also dismissed health concerns based on the effects of electro-magnetic fields and radio frequencies from the meters.
“The State Government announced at the end of last year that it had done a whole series of program reviews. It found the program should continue and that Smart Meters and their installation are quite safe,” he said.
“The government has done detailed scientific assessments and encourages people with concerns to read them. For example, government research indicates that Smart Meters provide more shielding to electromagnetic fields than the old meters. But really, the strength of the field has always been determined by how much power a consumer is using at any given moment.

  • Get the full story in the April 19, 2012 edition of The Weekly Advertiser.

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Posted on Apr 19 2012

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