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Smart meter installation safety

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Safe installation

Victoria’s electricity distributors will continue to install smart meters in homes and businesses across the state. A review of smart meter installation found that Victorians can be confident that meters are being installed safely.

Meeting safety standards and requirements

As the state’s independent safety regulator responsible for ensuring the safe supply and use of electricity, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is required to assess and approve electricity distributors’ safety procedures. This includes the installation of smart meters.

ESV requires that electricity distributors thoroughly test all smart meters after they are installed to ensure they meet all the relevant safety standards and requirements.

Installers must follow ESV-approved safety protocols. As a direct result of these safety protocols, installers have uncovered and rectified more than 20,000 pre-existing electrical defects in Victorian homes since the smart meter rollout began in 2009 – potentially saving property and lives at risk from faulty switchboards and unsafe wiring that may otherwise have remained undetected.

ESV has the power to audit the electricity distributors and may prosecute individuals or businesses for failing to comply with safety requirements.

ESV safety review

On 31 July 2012 Energy Safe Victoria released a report into the electrical safety of Victoria’s smart meters.

The report concluded that smart meters are safe, do not pose any greater safety risk than the meters they are replacing, and that there is no evidence to suggest that smart meters are exploding or causing fires.  A copy of the final report is available from the Energy Safe Victoria website.

In April 2011, ESV conducted a review of smart meters, which concluded that the meters are being installed safely by qualified and trained individuals. A copy of the final report is available from the Energy Safe Victoria website.

Trained and qualified smart meter installers

Installers must satisfactorily complete a course and practical assessment in accordance with the Certificate III Electricity Supply Industry Distribution (Power Line) Metering Installations Unit (or an equivalent course).

The meter installer is also required to verify that the installation is safe before switching the electricity back on for the consumer.

Qualifications Smart Meter installers are required by law to have a minimum of Certificate III level (or equivalent) qualification as a lineworker, meter technician or electrician. Training Installers must satisfactorily complete a course and practical assessment in accordance with the Certificate III Electricity Supply Industry Distribution (Power Line) Metering Installations Unit (or an equivalent course).

The meter installer is also required to verify that the installation is safe before switching the electricity back on for the consumer.