Kyabram man Bill Richards has seen about a 70 per cent increase in the electricity usage readings for his underfloor heating since having new digital smart meters fitted to his home on July 30.
Few people look forward to receiving their utility bills, but Kyabram resident Bill Richards has better reason than most to be concerned about his next electricity bill.
Since having new digital smart meters fitted to his home on July 30, Mr Richards has seen about a 70 per cent increase in the electricity usage readings for his underfloor heating.
Mr Richards contacted Powercor to get the smart meters fitted when he became aware his property was one of the few in the area not yet fitted with the new digital devices, a call he since regrets.
He has two meters at his property, one which is linked to the supply around most of his home, and a second that is solely connected to his underfloor heating system.
Mr Richards is energy conscious and has previously installed a solar energy system to keep his regular bills down. He also keeps a daily record of his usage that prompted him to first contact his energy provider Origin and then meter owner and installer Powercor.
‘‘Our average daily usage for the underfloor heating before the smart meter was installed was about 20
‘‘I know there were some colder days around that time, but our usage has never been near that much when it’s been cold before.’’
The new meter connected to the main system in his home has shown similar readings to the previous one and is not causing concern.
Powercor sent a technician along last week and initial tests showed the meter was performing correctly.
Mr Richards then paid $400 for further tests to be carried out under load and these also showed no fault with the meter.
Powercor confirmed it had raised Mr Richards concerns with senior management after the Free Press contacted it and had since spoken to him.
Powercor spokeswoman Lyndall King said Mr Richards’ slab heating system runs at a high load of about 100 amps.
‘‘Every meter is calibrated for accuracy prior to installation and there is a framework for random testing to be carried out statewide,’’ Ms King said.
‘‘We have installed over a million smart meters and we are confident of their accuracy.
‘‘There have been a number of incidents where we have found the old metering has been historically undercharging, so customers are now receiving more accurate bills.’’
Mr Richards accepted his usage had been higher in previous years, but said he had cut where he could due to higher charge rates.
‘‘We’ve turned the heating down now and we’re sitting in a room with the temperature at about 15°C, whereas we had it at about 18°C before,’’ he said.
‘‘Anyone who doesn’t read the meter regularly like I do could be in for a shock when they get their first quarterly bills after having a new meter fitted.
‘‘We seem to have reached a status quo and I don’t think there’s much more we can do about it.’’
Nicki McLennan is showing her sister Taylah the ultimate Christmas generosity - a stem cell transplant to help Taylah's ongoing cancer battle.
After a tennis career spanning 62 years, of which the last 35 years have been as a coach, Yarrawonga's Jon Coleman is set to retire at the end of 2013.
The recent Kyabram Master Pairs, played over six days with crack sides from near and far, attracted some talented bowlers eager to win the prestige event.
The murder trial of Echuca woman Tracey Kerr has been adjourned until next year.
Three Goornong Fire Brigade firefighters recently completed a CFA course on safety surrounding urban firefighting and using breathing apparatuses.
Kyabram Lawn Tennis Club’s annual junior singles tournament again attracted good numbers from across the district.
But have opponents given up the fight?
Reigning Murray Valley Cricket Association premier Strathmerton was far too good for Finley on Saturday, registering a 115-run victory.
Tooborac Fire Brigade visited Tooborac Primary School last Tuesday to help the school complete its bushfire emergency management plan.
Christmas is a time of giving and UnitingCare Cobram has joined forces with Target to ensure no stocking is left empty this festive season.
A Korean company has a proposal with the NSW Government to built a $90 million ethanol plant in Deniliquin.
SPC Ardmona, is sending eight containers loaded with $250,000 of fruit and vegetables to cyclone ravaged Philippines.
Diane Young celebrated 30 years of service at Devenish Primary School.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.