Peco Ditches Sensus Smart Meters, Resumes Installation in PA

Peco Energy has said it will resume its Philadelphia-area smart-meter installation project, which the company suspended in August after several incidents in which the electronic devices overheated and caught fire.

The utility company is, however, ditching meter manufacturer Sensus, whose devices were linked to two serious house fires in which no one was hurt. Peco says it will resume its meter installation work with Landis+Gyr (L+G) meters, and replace the 96,000 previously installed meters with L+G meters during the next 45 days.

Sensus will remain Peco’s communications network provider, the utility company says.

In addition to its own internal investigation, Peco hired Underwriters Laboratories to conduct safety performance tests on the smart meters. Peco president and CEO Craig Adams said the L+G meters are “fully compliant” with the safety tests, and that Peco will continue to test and monitor its meters.

At the time it suspended the $650 million program, Peco had installed 201,642 meters, including 186,000 Sensus devices, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Since August, it has replaced about half the Sensus meters with L&G devices.

Meanwhile, city officials in Naperville, Ill., said this week that all 57,400 smart meters associated with the $22 million Naperville Smart Grid Initiative will be installed by the end of the month, the Daily Herald reports. Some 56,600 have been installed to date.

Of the 800 meters that have yet to be installed, 610 belong to customers who have thus far refused to allow installers to change their analog meters to the wireless smart meters, the newspaper reports.

Although regulators have repeatedly said smart meters are safe, utility customers across the US continue to express concern about the digital devices. Some users say radio waves emitted by smart meters have made them sick, and others raise privacy concerns about customer consumption data collected by the smart meters, Environmental Leader reports.

Photo Credit: Portland General Electric

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