In the Northland region there are growing concern over the introduction of smart meters by power companies into homes. The smart meters measure power usage with some consumers experiencing a hefty rise in their power bills as well as certain illnesses believed to be caused by these machines.
Her kettle is switched on, but Marama Waddell says she's been experiencing bad health since the installation of this new smart meter at her residence.
“It's been affecting my body and mind and I've been very sick. I can't even sleep. Every day and every night, it's not good and it's not just me as I've spoken to other families experiencing similar problems to me’ says resident, Ms Waddell.
Due to the increased concern, her smart meter is being tested for the rate of radio frequency radiation emitting from it.
Close friend to Ms Waddell, Clare Swinney says “I think people should be aware that they do not have to accept a smart meter they're not compulsory. The NZ safety standards unfortunately don't protect people from the effects of these microwave radiation omitting devices.”
Te Kāea are yet to receive a reply from power companies we contacted today about the concerns over the smart meter. Even though it’s the middle of summer customers are also feeling the bite of a sharp rise in their power bills.
Former smart meter user Nellie Rata says “I'm no longer using my electric blanket because winter has long passed and yet I've received a hefty power bill. And I don't want it cut off because I want to live with dignity and not have to worry about that.”
It's a warning to do your research before agreeing to have smart meter installed at home.