Thursday, 24 July 2014

Capital Punishment from distributor: Disconnection

Avoiding Smart Meter’s in Victoria
(A Manual of facts to help you)
The aim of this web page is to provide you with some little known facts to assist you in your fight to protect your health, privacy and democratic right to say ‘NO’. It has been compiled from personal experience and many hours of research.

From information which I have received, it appears to me that distributors can disconnect "troublemakers" quick and easy.
Not many Victorians are aware of the rules which regulate disconnection, so I try to tell you some basics.

It may come as a surprise for electricity distributors and Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV), but there is a law in this country which is called the ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION CODE 2011.
You may ask your distributor for a copy:

9.1.4 On request by a customer, a distributor must give to a customer a copy of this Code (which, if so requested, must be a large print copy).

Before disconnection, a distributor has to send you at least TWO letters:

12.2.1 A distributor may disconnect supply to a customer’s supply address if supply otherwise would potentially endanger or threaten to endanger the health or safety of any person or the environment or an element of the environment or if there is otherwise an emergency.

12.2.2 Except in the case of an emergency, or where there is a need to reduce the risk of fire or where relevant regulations require otherwise, a distributor must not disconnect a customer’s supply address under clause 12.2.1 unless the distributor has:

(a) given the customer written notice of the reason;
(b) allowed the customer 5 business days from the date of receipt of the notice to eliminate the cause of the potential danger; and

(c) at the expiration of those 5 business days given the customer by way of a written disconnection warning another 5 business days’ notice of its intention to disconnect the customer (the 5 business days is to be counted from the date of receipt of the notice)

If there is a dispute, or you have lodged a complaint with your distributor, the EWOV, they are not allowed to disconnect you at all, clause 12.6.2 (b) dot point 2 states, ‘a distributor must not disconnect supply to a customer’:
• if there is a dispute between the customer and the distributor which has been notified by the customer under clause 10 and is still being dealt with by the distributor under that clause, or is the subject of proceedings before the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) Ltd. or other relevant external disputes resolution body;

I have heard several instances where these rules have been ignored, office of EWOV was informed and did their usual job: pen-pushing. And of course they obeyed their policy, which appears to be: ‘don’t create problems for the distribution industry’.
So you have to be demanding and not shy if dealing with them.

No law exist which allows distributor to cut off your electricity because you do not consent to the installation of a Smart meter.
Unfortunately people are not prepared to take action. As result, the offenders get away with unacceptable and in some instances; unlawful behaviour. I believe that if enough Victorians stand up for their rights, it would make all the difference!

You not supposed to pay for court. EWOV is free, but you have to annoy them to get result. If they refuse to help you - there is VCAT, Human Right Division. It is free, Applicant pays nothing.

It should be born in mind that, under the Electricity Industry Act 2000 – Sect 40b, in a case of wrongful disconnection, a distributor may have to pay you $250 per day, if no other amount applies.

(b) if no amount is prescribed by the regulations, $250 for each whole day that the supply of electricity is disconnected and a pro rata amount for any part of a day that the supply of electricity is disconnected;

The last thing any distributor wants - to get court ruling about removal Smart meter and going back to manually read one. As far as I know Victoria still has none court ruling like this. Court ruling is public and cannot be hidden under "gag order" which is usually part of out-of-court settlement.
Highly possibly your case will be settled quietly out of court - they will give you manually read meter and (possibly) compensation for unlawful disconnection, you sign "gag" order in return for "favour".
They honestly believe they are doing favour to you - allowing to have manually read meter after charging you $1000 for Smart one, which you never needed at all!
Agreement may be worded in so twisted and confusing way that only later you will understand you cannot claim any compensation for illegal disconnection or damages to your health from Smart meter radiation.
And you cannot even speak up about it because you  sign "gag" order!
And all it perfectly LEGAL! Why? They are rich bully (or multinational corporation, it is the same), you are just honest citizen.
You should know who has law on their side.

You do not like these laws and want some changes? Visit this page:

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