PECO to resume installing 'smart meters'
PECO will resume installing its new “smart meters” within the next 45 days, the utility announced early Tuesday afternoon.
Smart meter installation was suspended last month after some of the devices overheated and caused fires. More than 200,000 of the meters had been installed before the company got 26 reports of problems, PECO spokeswoman Cathy Engel Menendez said in September. Five of the incidents were in Northeast Philadelphia, she said.
The company had used a mix of meters manufactured by Sensus and Landis+Gyr (L+G), but now that its own and independent tests have concluded, Engel Menendez said Tuesday, PECO will use L+G exclusively.
The Sensus meters – 96,000 of them – will be replaced with L+G meters, she said. Customers will receive two letters and a telephone call beginning about six weeks prior to receiving a new meter.
Customers with any questions or concerns can call 1-855-741-9011.
State law requires the new meters, which send and receive information from PECO. They are designed to help the utility more quickly restore power during blackouts and also provide PECO and its customers with more detailed power-usage information.
Smart meters were installed in the Northeast throughout the spring and summer.
Some residents said they thought the meters emit dangerous radiation. Others have privacy worries, and still others simply don’t like that they must allow their old meters to be exchanged for the new smart meters. The utility has countered that new meters are safe and can’t spy on customers. They are, however, required by law and the utility could cut power to customers who don’t permit the new meters’ installation.