A comically small dog named Pixie has been deemed too vicious for Ergon Energy meter readers to enter a  property — and the owner wants the money he is owed.
A comically small dog named Pixie has been deemed too vicious for Ergon Energy meter readers to enter a property — and the owner wants the money he is owed.

Power workers avoid miniscule dog, refuse to read meters

A COMICALLY small dog named Pixie has been deemed too vicious for Ergon Energy meter readers to enter a Cairns property - and the owner wants the money he is owed.

Swiss expat Karl Kobler, 78, has been collecting about $300 every three months for electricity sent back to the grid since he decked his Mooroobool house out with solar panels a decade ago.

That income source dried up about nine months ago when a meter reader began dropping "could not enter" notes in the letterbox instead of cheques.

The former Mozarts Pastry Coffee Shop owner said he used to have a big dog, but it died in July - and Ergon never previously had any issue with him self-reading and reporting his numbers over the phone.

Swiss expat Karl Kobler, 78, says Ergon has stopped him for solar power he sends back to the grid from his Mooroobool home because the meter checker says his docile 30cm-tall dog, Pixie, is too aggressive. Karl Kobler with his 7 year old Norfolk Terrier Pixie. Picture: Stewart McLean
Swiss expat Karl Kobler, 78, says Ergon has stopped him for solar power he sends back to the grid from his Mooroobool home because the meter checker says his docile 30cm-tall dog, Pixie, is too aggressive. Karl Kobler with his 7 year old Norfolk Terrier Pixie. Picture: Stewart McLean

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Since then he has adopted Pixie, a seven-year-old Norfolk terrier that "wouldn't attack a worm in the garden" and almost always stayed inside.

Mr Kobler has gone nine months with no cheques and has vowed to fight until the roughly $1000 he is owed finds its way to his bank account.

"She is so peaceful but they never come in, they just put a label in the letterbox saying they couldn't read the power because of our dog," he said.

"OK, I do not accept anything like this.

"I worked all my life for my house, which I own.

"I paid for the solar system about 10 years ago.

"Hello, it's my money."

Mr Kobler said a neighbour saw the meter reader drop the note in the letterbox without even checking the yard - and Pixie was safely locked inside the house at the time.

Regardless, she was not exactly a rabid beast.

Ergon introduced new meter reader rules for homes with dogs in 2019. (FILE PIC)
Ergon introduced new meter reader rules for homes with dogs in 2019. (FILE PIC)

"She's about 30cm tall and a very peaceful animal," he said.

He also said Ergon wanted him to pay $38 if he wanted to receive the rest of his money.

"I feel betrayed by Ergon Energy," he said.

An Ergon spokesman said the company could not discuss specific cases but an SMS service had been in place since 2019 to give customers a day's notice to secure their dogs before a meter reading.

He said an online self-read service was available to customers, and that attacks on meter readers had dropped 81 per cent since the stringent dog policy began.

"Ergon and Energex in SEQ are not the first electricity distributors to implement such a policy with similar policies around the country," the spokesman said.

Originally published as Vicious Pixie: Ergon avoids dog that 'wouldn't attack a worm'



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