Abuse comes with the job

SMART meter installers have been abused, assaulted, had their tools stolen and have even been chased by angry residents, according to one Ballarat electrician.

The man, who asked not to be identified, installs smart meters on behalf of Powercor in Ballarat and surrounds.

He said the myths surrounding smart meters had made his job dangerous.

“Some people are good, but others just straight-up abuse us,” he said.

“The worst is when they’re not home, so we start work, then they get home and get upset with what we’re doing.

The electrician said local tradespeople installing the devices on Ballarat homes and businesses were becoming fed up with the attitude of some residents.

“We’ve had blokes assaulted, we’ve had verbal and physical abuse,” he said.

“One bloke had to get a couple of stitches after being hit with nunchukkas.” 

The Ballarat man said when things got too bad, installers would turn off the home’s electricity, leave the property and wait until the police or Powercor could arrange a time to safely complete the installation.

“It’s just safer to go away and wait for the police,” he said.

“People just don’t understand what a smart meter does and what it’s for – there’s a lot of myths out there.”

According to Powercor, customers must provide clear and safe access to electricity meters at all times.

“We always encourage customers to contact Powercor if they have any questions regarding the installation,” a spokesman said.

To contact Powercor, 

call 1300 783 882.

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