PECO defends its smart meters in Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. - September 13, 2012

They assured the Public Utilities Commission and PECO customers that as their investigation continues, customer safety is their top priority.

Since PECO started installing the meters in March, we now know there have been 25 incidents of the meters overheating. And in two cases the incidents caused fires and damage to customers' homes.

"Any damage we find in the customer equipment is part of the deployment process. We are doing that free of charge to the customer. And for these events any damage that occurred to the customer, PECO is covering that as well," PECO's Mike Innocenzo told lawmakers.

PECO says of the 29 overheating incidents so far, seven were caused by pre-existing conditions with customers' equipment. Seven others were caused by installation and water issues. And 15 issues remain under investigation.

But the big question is, while PECO is using meters supplied by three different companies, why is it that only Sensus brand meters have been involved in the overheating problems.

Sensus representative Randolph Wheatley told Action News "we have extensive empirical evidence as to the safety of the Sensus meter."

And it's important to note that while PECO is using meters from several vendors, the entire program runs on a Sensus network.

One lawmaker on Thursday asked, "Is the company willing to make the decision that 'We're going to go with the meter that's not causing these issues?'"

"We are absolutely committed to safety, and we are committed to the success of this project," said PECO's Innocenzo. "As we make our decision going forward, it will only be for the decision that we can insure provides for safe and reliable service for our customers."

PECO is now wirelessly installing new software on the Sensus meters so if they overheat they will automatically shut off. If you are worried about your smart meter, you can call PECO at 855-741-9011.

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