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  Reply # 1376210 29-Aug-2015 22:07
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Greendrake:
graemeh: Why do you ask?  Is it that you are just interested or has this happened to you?

Nothing happened. Just curious what would happen. And the fact that there is no consensus on such a common thing makes me even more curious.


No consensus is because the electricity industry in NZ is complex and most people have probably not ever worked in the industry, let alone on the billing / metering side so they don't know what they are talking about.

@raytaylor, your answer is pretty accurate but the retailer is responsible for the meter, not the lines company.  The retailers tend to use companies like AMS, Smartco and Metrix who own the meters and lease them to the retailer.  That is one of the things that changed with the electricity "reforms" NZ went through.

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  Reply # 1376888 31-Aug-2015 09:51
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graemeh:
Greendrake:
graemeh: Why do you ask?  Is it that you are just interested or has this happened to you?

Nothing happened. Just curious what would happen. And the fact that there is no consensus on such a common thing makes me even more curious.


No consensus is because the electricity industry in NZ is complex and most people have probably not ever worked in the industry, let alone on the billing / metering side so they don't know what they are talking about.


There's a few ways it could play out, but the most likely outcome is that the new tenant will end up paying for the power used, because their retailer will use Mr Brown Smith's 31st August "final" read as the new "start" read.

Always read the meter yourself when moving to a new place - it's amazing how often and badly they get it wrong, even with smart meters.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1376958 31-Aug-2015 11:11
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The power was cut off when I moved into my current address.

I phoned my power company and explained I suspected the previous occupant may have been behind in their bills, but I didn't know them or ever meet them. I then said I would happily give them my business if they didn't charge me for re-connection. They agreed and in return I have no plans to change power company soon (it helps that I am very happy with their rates).

They obviously charged me my daily rate from when I moved in and I can't remember if I gave them a meter reading or not. I do remember the first bill was about what I expected.



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  Reply # 1376968 31-Aug-2015 11:22
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My understanding it nothing happens for a few weeks and then the power company gets it disconnected if no one has requested the power on again.

We had this in our old place, it went on the market and we moved out soon after it was on the market.
We moved around the 20th of the month and talked to our power company about taking our account from old address to new address, this was done on the day of the move (20th).

When the power bill came in we had 2, 1 for the old address up till the 20th, then 1 at the new place from the 20th.

The power must have still be active for a few weeks at the old place as about 3 weeks later we get a random email from our old landlord demanding that we get the power reconnected at the old place we moved from as it had just been cut off.  Told him it was his problem and he should have sorted out the power on the 20th/21st to be under his name.



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  Reply # 1377180 31-Aug-2015 15:50
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I have a rental property that was vacated in February, and for a variety of reasons it remained empty and was not tenanted for 5 months. When I went to the property a few days before the new tenant was due to move in in July, I noted the power was still connected, although everything (hot water included) was switched off at the meter board in the hallway. I confirmed with the previous tenant that they received their final bill in early March.

I turned on the hot water as I needed to check the shower (after pressure complaint from the previous tenant). I returned 24 hours later to test the shower which was hot, but the power was then disconnected a few days later - 2 days before the new tenant moved in.

I am fully aware that most incumbant power companies leave the power on as a courtesy  for a month or so, then disconnect it if nobody calls to connect it in their name. But it seems as if this power company left it on for around 5 months - possibly because they could see no usage, and as soon as they saw a spike in usage they disconnected it.

Maybe that was just coincidence - maybe they always planned to disconnect it on that day anyway, but it seems an awfully long time to leave it connected.

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  Reply # 1377181 31-Aug-2015 15:56
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Wheelbarrow01: but it seems an awfully long time to leave it connected.


It also seems an awfully quick time to work out usage has jumped. I wonder if it was a smart meter, they had just had a reading, or it was on the cards anyway.

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  Reply # 1377183 31-Aug-2015 16:02
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ghettomaster:
Wheelbarrow01: but it seems an awfully long time to leave it connected.


It also seems an awfully quick time to work out usage has jumped. I wonder if it was a smart meter, they had just had a reading, or it was on the cards anyway.


It really seems too quick for them to have picked it up from Smart Meter readings.

The meter data at the retailer can be up to 5 days behind.  At best it will be up until around midnight the previous night.  The meters are typically read some time from midnight until early morning.  Data read is for the previous day up to midnight so by the time it has been checked and processed it is normally quite late in the day.

fortydayweekend:  Always read the meter yourself when moving to a new place - it's amazing how often and badly they get it wrong, even with smart meters.


That is great advice, I've seen situations where they have billed for many months using estimated readings and the "final" estimated reading when the tenant moves out is quite different to the amount showing on the meter.

Take a picture of the starting reading and email it to your retailer, this protects you and if the retailer is different to the one the last tenant or occupier used it helps them too.

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  Reply # 1377184 31-Aug-2015 16:04
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Unless they can preload the smart meter that it is to disconnect after a certain small usage has passed or something?




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  Reply # 1377190 31-Aug-2015 16:07
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richms: Unless they can preload the smart meter that it is to disconnect after a certain small usage has passed or something?


I've never seen a meter that is that smart and given the industry paranoia around disconnection I don't see any retailer ever building that into the meter.

Prepaid meters could be used this way but nobody has mentioned them yet.

Some retailers won't even do disconnections (apart from prepaid meters) on Fridays because it is close to the weekend.

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  Reply # 1377193 31-Aug-2015 16:13
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richms: Unless they can preload the smart meter that it is to disconnect after a certain small usage has passed or something?


Yeah, this is what I wondered too - that fact that there was suddenly some use and that no one had contacted the power company to advised that someone was moving in - ie the incoming tennant - and so a disconnection was done



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  Reply # 1377213 31-Aug-2015 16:50
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keewee01: and so a disconnection was done

I wonder then what sort of automatic disconnection a smart meter can do? Is it something inside the meter that just turns the power off and can be turned back on only by the company operating the meter? If it is that simple to them, why would they keep the power connected for 5 months instead of say disconnecting in the next few days after the tenant moves out and they see no new customer has signed up?

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  Reply # 1377225 31-Aug-2015 17:02
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Greendrake:
keewee01: and so a disconnection was done

I wonder then what sort of automatic disconnection a smart meter can do? Is it something inside the meter that just turns the power off and can be turned back on only by the company operating the meter? If it is that simple to them, why would they keep the power connected for 5 months instead of say disconnecting in the next few days after the tenant moves out and they see no new customer has signed up?


There's a bit of a difference between what is technically possible to do with smart meters, and what the power companies are actually doing with them. What seems simple is actually horribly expensive to implement in a sprawling decades-old company built on old technology with half a million customers, and it's often easier and cheaper to just keep doing things manually.

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  Reply # 1377346 31-Aug-2015 20:52
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Greendrake:
keewee01: and so a disconnection was done

I wonder then what sort of automatic disconnection a smart meter can do? Is it something inside the meter that just turns the power off and can be turned back on only by the company operating the meter? If it is that simple to them, why would they keep the power connected for 5 months instead of say disconnecting in the next few days after the tenant moves out and they see no new customer has signed up?


The meter itself is unlikely to ever have software clever enough to decide to disconnect the power.

Smart meters can be used to do a remote disconnection where the company managing the meter sends a signal to disconnect the power.  This is done on the direction of the retailer and there are usually some pretty strict rules about when the disconnection can occur.  If the smart meter can't be contacted to do the disconnection and it is late in the day the disconnection attempt will be cancelled.  This can happen when the customer knows the disconnect is coming and they take actions to block the disconnection.

They can also do remote reconnections but these are triggered manually as the power companies want to know somebody is home in case the stove or something similar has been left on.

The reality is that the cost of leaving the property connected outweighs the cost of the power lost while the property is empty and the cost to disconnect.

One day this may change but for now the companies are still too busy rolling out smart meters to worry about a little bit of unbilled power.

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