Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The interupted electric

Lined up in front of our building and the two associated buildings next door were many vans, perhaps a dozen, with many sparkies (electricians) in attendance. During the morning, a very pleasant young man knocked at the door. Sorry, your electric will be off for an hour.

Oh well, I was prepared for it but an hour without the internet? I will die. I will use the charged up notebook computer. Hmmmm, no. The modem needs the electric. Ok, I will use my phone as the modem, so I did.

An hour later the world righted itself and the Highrise sprang back into life, with only two clocks needing their time corrected.

We now have a smart meter, which does nothing that our old meter did not do for us already. It simply measures the electricity usage, for now. In the future they will be used to rip even more dollars from our pockets for electricity.

As far as I know, within a day, nearly four hundred smart meters had been installed in our and the two adjacent buildings. Impressive! Who's paying for that? Oh, we are, in our electric bills.

 White vans must sell very well in Australia, in fact all over the world.

 They don't look much smarter than the meters that were there, which I believe were already read remotely.

Hot water meters and cold water meters. We pay for our cold water usage and we pay for the gas to heat our water, but not the cold water that is heated. The Body Corporate pays for that water, at a fraction of the price, as is the cost of gas to heat the pool and spa, building area lighting and other building water.



23 comments:

  1. We had our smart meters installed last year and i haven't noticed any difference in the bill yet, maybe later on it could change. You could call a gathering of electricians A Gaggle of Sparkies?.

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    1. Windsmoke, it what they are capable of is where we will get stung. At the moment, they work just as the old ones do. Gaggle of Sparkies is ok....I am thinking, and I can't come up with anything better.

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  2. I don't see the point of smart meters either if their function is no different to the old ones.

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    1. River, firstly, they are in contact with the power company pretty well every few minutes. Secondly, they enable the power companies to charge more for electricity at a certain time of day. It is complicated, but at the moment electricity companies wear the cost of buying electricity whether it is cheap, as on a low use day, or expensive for them to buy on a high cost day, such as when it is 40 degrees. The new metres can transfer the cost to the user. Peak usage is early evening, and that is when the electricity will cost the most. As usual, it hits the poorest people the hardest.

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  3. Colin8:56 am

    Oh - the costs will rise. These new meters were not put there for a new fresh look on the walls, it will be a new fresh rise in costs!

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  4. Since you are in a flat and not a house, I don't know if this would be possible. But are the other owners in the building Old Lefties? If so, get the body corporate to install lots of solar panels on the roof. It will cost plenty at first, but with a hunk of government subsidy, you can be getting free hot water and electricity for 6/12 of the year.

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    1. Hels, there is not enough roof space for solar panels. There is space for a wind turbine, and it has been investigated, but was found to be inappropriate. The older people who control the body corporate are green inclined, too much so in our opinion and have shut off or reduced so many things in our building, it has been devalued in our opinion.

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  5. Colin1:29 pm

    Well I know this "effort" has nothing to do with the new money sucking meters, but refers to a previous post on "The Sydney Red Rattlers" and if you can purchase the "Sydney Daily Telegraph"
    (yeh, I know it is a "tabloid rag, but it is better than the "tabloid rag" inflicted on Queenslanders), after wading through the "gushings" of a certain announcement of a pending UK baby - 7 pages, joy to the hearts of the Prof. Flints, Tony Abbotts, Flo Bjelke-Petersens and Bronwyn Bishops, proceed to Page 66, "The History on this Day" page.
    There is an article by a Mike Gow on "Riding the Red Rattler" - it is factual and nostalgic reading of growing up in the 1960's.
    I think commenter, Victor, will enjoy it.
    I sure did, it bought back great memories.

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    1. I will have a look online Colin. Thanks.

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  6. You are collecting a few anonymous spammers here. Hopefully the bills won't go up.

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    1. Colin8:05 pm

      Correct Diane. I was told by my computer fixer, if anything turns up in the incoming e-mails, and the name is ANONYMOUS, move it to spam.
      Seems from what is now there, you have moved them Andrew????

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    2. Diane, I get something like thirty spam comments a day, which go to the spam folder. I have to check them as there is the odd real comment that goes there. Lately a few spam comments have slipped through the filter, but I delete them as soon as I am aware of them.

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  7. LOL smart meters = new spammers. I'm jealous

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    1. Fen, I don't know why I am so targeted by spam, considering barely any get through, and those that do are quickly deleted.

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  8. A constellation of sparkies? HHHMMMmmm... don't think I can top Windsmoke either!

    An on-the-road lifesaver has been the 'Power can inverter' (~$50) - plugs into the car cigarette lighter and your appliance plugs into it for recharging or use. Obviously will flatten the car battery if too much use while the car is stationary, but luckily, will charge up my netbook in about an hour while travelling from A to B, and P can use his electric shaver when there's no power!! Worth a look!!

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  9. Red, I thought of that too, but it is no better.

    That sounds like an excellent device. Does it charge rollers for that perm maintenance?

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  10. Ah, you've finally unlocked the mystery of the smart meter. It's the flat rate wholesale purchase price vs tiered retailing.
    Which means in a heat wave the elderly should spend the day in an airconditioned shopping mall because they can't afford cooling when it's actually hot.
    Oh, wait a minute, there are quite a few who do spend all day every day in the local Centro.

    For a long time I was puzzled by the notion these meters could help "we, the people" use our power more wisely than is currently [snicker] the case. It's actually about charging the people more wisely.

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    1. FC, the most obvious thing to me is the people who spend all day at home will end up worse off. As you say, the elderly, plus young mothers and the unwell. The rest of us will get used to operating appliances at night time, when the rate is cheaper.

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  11. Ah yes, 'Men in White Vans.' I think there was a study done in the UK a couple of years ago that the typical 'man in a white van' is a traffic hog, a tailgater, in his fifties and fat!

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    1. Kath, I think the profile here would be a bit younger and less fat, but still a traffic hog and tailgater.

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  12. Hahaha! that's so funny Andrew, sounds like you were really freaked out about not having the internet for an hour.. sounds like bliss to me!

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  13. Freaked out Grace? Not at all, well no more than an alcoholic without a drink.

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.