Interest in smart meters

The planned installation of smart meters into North Otago's electricity network has prompted opponents to call a third public meeting.

Two have been held - the first on Wednesday night attended by 20 people and the second on Sunday afternoon with about 50 people packed into the board room at the Oamaru Club, leaving standing room only.

One of the organisers of the meetings, Susan Maxwell, said some people who arrived on Sunday saw the room was full and left again, so a third meeting would be held this Sunday at 1pm, this time in the Oamaru Club's restaurant.

During the meeting, a DVD called Take Back Your Power will be shown, a documentary about the possible environmental and health effects of smart meters and grids.

Rob Hitchins, of Oamaru, who founded the Electro-sensitivity Trust in New Zealand, will again chair the meeting.

The meetings come as Meridian Energy Ltd plans to install smart meters for its 8500 customers on the Network Waitaki network next month.

Mrs Maxwell and others raised issues about the effects of smart meters, effects electricity retail companies say are unsubstantiated by any research in New Zealand or overseas.

The aim of the meetings is to tell people about possible effects so they can make an informed decision whether to allow them to be installed on their properties.

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