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Monday, August 16, 2010

ABC Wednesday: E for electricity meter



http://abcwednesdayround3.blogspot.com/
ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt

My friends marvel at this system in New Zealand. Some of the houses have their electricity meters inside the house. It is quite inconvenient when the meter person comes, and you are not at home, or if you have a dog. So the power company allows you to read you own power meter and phone them the figure. My friends couldn't believe this trust that been given to the household. Of course, I would imagine, every now and then, they would come and do a spot check.

All this not so rosy however, in 2007, a silly idiot cut off the power to a sick woman dependent on the electricity to run her breathing machine over an over due account of
168.40 New Zealand dollars (U.S.$123). 44 year old Folole Muliaga paid with her life for that.

Addition: This sad case of Folole Muliaga was a case one person saying this, and another person saying another thing and ultimately no amount of money can bring her back from death.

The family of Auckland woman Folole Muliaga plan to sue both Mercury Energy and Middlemore Hospital over the mother of four's tragic death.

In June 2010, Legal papers are to be filed at the Auckland High Court seeking financial redress from Mercury and the hospital regarding Mrs Muliaga's death, which followed power being cut to her Mangere home in 2007, Fairfax media reported.

Mrs Muliaga, 45, a morbidly obese woman, was using a mains-powered oxygen machine and died three hours after a contractor to Mercury Energy disconnected her power over an unpaid bill of $168.40.

In findings released in 2008 following an inquest, Coroner Gordon Matenga found that the action of cutting Mrs Muliaga's power on May 29 2007 was a factor in her death.

Mercury later presented the Muliaga family with $10,000, but now lawyer Olinda Woodroffe is reported to be seeking more.

Mrs Muliaga's widower Lopaavea Muliaga said he wanted closure for himself and his children.

13 comments:

Dar said...

How sad about the cut-off and someone loosing life because of it. Surely you would think they would have had the courtesy to make a personal visit first to see why the bill was unpaid and they would have seen the need for the electricity. She should have been given the power for free, for what the companies make off of us.
Great entry!
BlessYourHeartAnn

Betsy from Tennessee said...

How interesting, Ann... I am not sure that 'reading our own meter' in this country would work because of so much dishonesty. I hate to say that but it is true... It's a great idea though and would save money without having to pay people to come and read the meters. Oh Well!!!

So sad about them cutting off that person's electricity. Those are the kind of sad situations which should never happen.

You asked about George's and my shirts. We buy t-shirts ALIKE every time we go to a new place... SO--we enjoy wearing them when we travel.

Hugs,
Betsy

rainfield61 said...

I never go hiking during the week days, but all my posts are written in "this morning".

I may find fun on this, but not Folole Muliaga.

Ginny said...

Goodness, I've never heard of a setup like this! One would have to get a pretty decorative cover for this! But couldn't that woman's power have been cut off if the meter were inside or outside? That is HORRIBLE!!

George said...

This is a very interesting post and I've never heard meters inside the house, either. But I do know that our utility has put in new meters (on the outside) that can be read as a worker slowly drives down the street. No longer a need to get out of the vehicle.

Martha Z said...

Our power company has switched to remote reading, the meter sends its information to a remote location. No need for a human to read the meter. Our home has solar cells that generate almost as much power as we use in a year.

As for how cold it was in Alaska, it was pleasant when the sun was shinning. Unfortunately it was cloudy and cold much of the time.

EcoRover said...

How exacerbating to have your energy exscinded.

PS: until recently, when our power company installed automated readers, we read our own gas & electric and mailed in the reading each month. Once a year a meter attendant came round to keep everyone honest.

betchai said...

oh, that was so sad, it is nice to know about the trust, but also sad to know of the sudden cut-off without notice probably?

Cheryl said...

Oh goodness, we have a meter person come to our outside meter once a month. How very sad someone lost their life over an unpaid bill. Doesn't the power company give a 30 day warning before terminating the electricity?

Al said...

It's strange to think of reading your own meter like that. Although we read our own water meters for reporting, but that's off a private well so it's not for payments.

Francisca said...

That's both an encouraging and depressing post at the same time, Ann. I understand the trust, though, the meter just keeps going and can be spot checked. Perhaps soon they'll have a place online where you just post the monthly figure. Red tape does have a tendency to strangle every now and then...

Ann said...

I added this to my post: Thank you all for your interest. This issue was hotly debated liken to David verses Golliath, except in this case, David died.

Addition: This sad case of Folole Muliaga was a case one person saying this, and another person saying another thing and ultimately no amount of money can bring her back from death.

The family of Auckland woman Folole Muliaga plan to sue both Mercury Energy and Middlemore Hospital over the mother of four's tragic death.

In June 2010, Legal papers are to be filed at the Auckland High Court seeking financial redress from Mercury and the hospital regarding Mrs Muliaga's death, which followed power being cut to her Mangere home in 2007, Fairfax media reported.

Mrs Muliaga, 45, a morbidly obese woman, was using a mains-powered oxygen machine and died three hours after a contractor to Mercury Energy disconnected her power over an unpaid bill of $168.40.

In findings released in 2008 following an inquest, Coroner Gordon Matenga found that the action of cutting Mrs Muliaga's power on May 29 2007 was a factor in her death.

Mercury later presented the Muliaga family with $10,000, but now lawyer Olinda Woodroffe is reported to be seeking more.

Mrs Muliaga's widower Lopaavea Muliaga said he wanted closure for himself and his children.

Steven Brooks said...

Hello,

Electricity meters measure the kilowatt hours consumed, the power factor of the load and the time of the electricity consumption to support multi-rate metering. The communications system in these meters requires reliability and range. Electricity meter used for billing, whether by a licensed energy supplier or a gas meter landlord. Thank you.

Meter Probe