April 19, 2011 - Energy company, Ausgrid has rejected claims it has not consulted with households, businesses and public organisations when it comes to its "Smart Grid, Smart City" project.

Concern has been raised that there is potential for serious breaches of privacy and that New Zealand smart meters have been linked to hundreds of house fires.

The three-year project aims to give networks and households in the Hunter more information on electricity use, costs and carbon emissions.

Ausgrid spokeswoman, Kylie Yates says all stakeholders have been included in the project's design and management.

"This "Smart Grid" is being meticulously planned and designed in consultation with industry experts and other groups to make sure it's the safest and most secure grid in the world," she said.

"This will also develop maximum benefits to the community.
"In fact, in February and March, Ausgrid met with representatives from more than 30 organisations."

Ausgrid says there's no evidence hundreds of house fires in New Zealand were caused by "Smart Meters".

"We haven't heard of any fires being linked to "Smart Meters" at all," she said.
"We believe there may have been separate electrical faults which would not be related to "Smart Meters" at all.

"What we do know is that no meter installed in Ausgrid's area is ever installed without passing rigorous independent testing."