PECO’s “smart meter” program is under investigation after fires at some homes with the new meters.
The smart meters send data to the power company about how much electricity is used and when. In 15 homes out of 186,000 where PECO installed smart meters they overheated, sometimes sparking fires. PECO spokeswoman Cathy Engel Menendez says the utility is investigating the incidents.
“Of the investigations we completed, it has shown there were pre-existing conditions with customers’ equipment,” said Menendez. “So what that means is the meter is the utility company’s property, but where it attaches to the home that is the customer’s property.”
Menendez says PECO is replacing some smart meters with ones from a different manufacturer. It is documenting the whole process since the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission has requested data on the whole program.
“They requested I believe about 16 or 17 questions that they wanted more answers to,” she said. “PECO is in the process of compiling the answers and will submit them this week and if the PUC needs more information, the process will go from there.”
PECO has suspended installing new smart meters temporarily.
Craig Adam’s, PECO’s President and CEO, is a member of WHYY’s board of directors.