Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Don Maisch

Smart meters: The adverse effects on health … ?

Submission to the Australian Energy Regulator on TasNetwork’s revised tariff proposal and supporting documents as listed at : https://www.aer.gov.au/networks-pipelines/determinations-access-arrangements/tasnetworks-formerly-aurora-energy-2017-2019/revised-proposal

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this proposal. I will limit my comments to two issues, which I consider inadequately addressed, or not at all considered by TasNetworks.

1) TasNetworks proposed demand-based pricing change, more accurately known as Time-of-Use (ToU) pricing is a significant departure from the existing fixed price per kilowatt/hour to one whereby the price of power changes on an hour-to-hour basis, depending on overall power demand. Their claim that this will empower the consumer to better manage their energy consumption does not stand up to the evidence so far.

2) An essential part of ToU pricing is replacing thousands of existing analogue meters throughout Tasmania with advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), utilizing a smart meter. This enables two-way wireless communication between the smart meter and the electricity producer, providing the utility with real-time data about power consumption.

However in many places where smart meters have been rolled out there have been complaints from consumers who claim it has adversely affected their health, depending on the location of the meter in their homes. This possibility should be addressed and not simply ignored as an inconvenience.

Download the full submission to read the rest …


*Don Maisch PhD has been involved in telecommunications standard setting since the early 1990s and was a member of the Standards Australia Committee setting exposure standards for electromagnetic fields. His PhD thesis examined industry influence and bias in telecommunications health risk assessment. He has recently written a book chapter on industry influence in Australian expert science committees which is due for publication in June 2015. Besides also writing about shortcomings with planned smart grids networks in Australia (see here) he is currently working on a thesis examining draconian US tax laws that have been accepted in an IGA by the Abbott government and how they affect the financial future of expat Americans lining in Australia.

• Don Maisch’s next article will be on ‘how to opt out of TasNetworks ill-thoughtout plans’ …

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Dr. Pri Bandara

    February 7, 2017 at 11:40 am

    As a scientist with an in-depth knowledge about the research literature on radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR), how research in this area has been manipulated by vested interests, how poorly the International EMF Project at the WHO (with the NGO ICNIRP) has mismanaged this area of research and public health policy,and how our own radiation protection agency ARPANSA has failed in their duty, I urge the Australian authorities and the public to pay attention to the adverse health effects of RF-EMR emanating from wireless systems. Sticking another source of RF-EMR as a”Smart” meter on every house,increasing public exposure, is not a smart idea at all.Please see the International EMF Scientist Appeal to the UN and the WHO and the BioInitiative Report for the scientific evidence of harm. Dr. Pri Bandara, Sydney.

  2. mike seabrook

    January 8, 2017 at 1:37 am

    # dont forget those pollies protected species – hobart zinc works and bell bay aluminium buying at est. 4c per kwh delivered

  3. Luigi Brown

    January 5, 2017 at 11:48 am

    “Smart meters: The adverse effects on health … ?”

    I think that groundless scientific scares are de rigueur in the Silly Season. This one has about as much factual basis as Santa getting stuck in the chimney. Thanks, TT. 🙂

  4. Mick Kenny

    January 2, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    With broadband over powerlines already available and tested, why does relatively basic communications between the consumer meter and supplier’s data-banks requires an additional wireless link and the associated equipment to support this?

    The massive trove of household consumption data collected is likely to be crunched into the production of ever more obscure pricing plans and packages, available by calling one of their friendly, well-groomed, corporate clad consultants, if commercial logic proceeds as usual.

    Ref: http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/tas/content/2005/s1467392.htm

  5. Leonard Colquhoun

    January 1, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Re Comment 6’s “as it sees fit”^: a nice bit of imaginative metaphor, as far as it goes.

    My scribble can be reckoned a quibble if some readers like, but it’s in the same category as those much too frequent misnomers ‘animals / plants have adapted to’ and ‘animals / plants are designed to’, and for the same reasons. In today’s wimpy lingo of disapproval, all are ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unacceptable’. (“Coward punching like that is completely unacceptable!!” and “That sort of misuse of public funding is utterly inappropriate!!!” Such rubbish.)

    ^ Can remember being enthralled by Professor Sumner Miller’s TV shows, and his “Why is it so?”. We needed him cloned as multiple teachers of science. Stephen Fry uses much the same innovative showmanship on his QI from time to time; as well, he is one of the very few media / arts performers who show any intelligent appreciation of and respect for empirical science and its practitioners – such a change from the usual poncy celeb mouthing of ‘Oh, I wouldn’t know anything about that’ “Bravissimo!!” to both.

  6. Mick Kenny

    December 31, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Calling a device a smart meter, when it cannot select the cheapest pricing available to consumers, is a suspiciously misleading description.

  7. Second Opinion

    December 31, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    The Gamesmanship that saw the Transend tyros drain the storages for profit; to find themselves exposed when Basslink fell over: will be back with a vengeance when the whole of the domestic demand is available and on the table.
    No need for price signals; it will be automatic and politically neutral.
    A far cry from the self-reliance that Tasmania could enjoy.
    A well known professor, Julius Sumner Millar, once posed a problem: of the two balloons.
    A small balloon, and a large balloon, are connected together such that air might freely move from one to the other, or not move; as it sees fit.
    Tasmania is the small balloon of that experiment.

  8. Kelvin Jones

    December 28, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    It is very advantageous to Hydro to cut peak power consumption to Tasmania as it allows more peak power to be sold over Basslink or equally it charges TasNetworks the price it gets from peak sales over Basslink or perhaps even more likely TasNetworks charges the same as the highest charged consumer on the mainland.

    In fact on current government dreaming it would be great if every Tasmanian consumer disconnected from the grid and Hydro exported its entire output as peak load to the mainland on multiple Basslinks.

    If we all get these smart Meters then may be the government’s dreams will become true and the nightmares for Tasmanian consumers beginning.

    The increasing cost of electricity on the mainland caused by running dual systems (renewable and fossil) is about to be subsidised by commercial and residential Tasmanian consumers.

  9. Ian M

    December 25, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    If “Don Maisch PhD” would like anyone to bother opening his document, the précis should at least contain a passing comment explaining why point 1 “does not stand up to the evidence so far” rather than simply stating that as fact. He should also mention a possible scientific cause for why consumers suppose smart meters have “adversely affected their health”.

  10. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Smart meters (and similar such gizmos), pushed by smart-alec & worldly-wise techies onto gullible MPs (and their ‘advisers’, pet academics and bureaucrats) too ignorant to assess them, and too far up themselves to ever admit to that ignorance (or to any other).

    Epidiascopes, anyone? Language labs?

  11. Simon D

    December 22, 2016 at 2:16 am

    The health concerns can easily be addressed with hardly any inconvenience. Only takes two minutes-https://youtu.be/PS8dNzRhMgk

  12. Luuk Veltkamp

    December 21, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    The “adverse” health effects need to be considered within the context of reality. Smart meters have normal everyday off the shelf 3G modems identical in every possible way to any and every mobile phone and tablet, highlighted by the case of the man who pulled a smart meter apart and put its SIM card into his mobile phone and fraudulently used Telstras data.

    To consider the adverse health effects you would have to assume you live your life without other identical RF sources which the majority of smart meter owning humans are unlikely to as well as considering their respective proximity to ones grey matter compared to a smart meter mounted in a box on an external wall outside.

Leave a Reply

To Top