All of the remaining 96,000 prone to overheating Sensus smart electric meters will be uninstalled and replaced within the next 45 days, PECO spokeswoman Cathy Engel Menendez said Tuesday afternoon.
The replacement work began in the Croydon section of Bristol Township on Monday, Patch readers reported.
The news comes after weeks of forensic analysis of more than 25 overheating incidents reported across the area. Some of the overheating incidents lead to minor fires in
Once all the Sensus meters are replaced with L&G brand units, the utility’s replacement of older meters will continue, Engel Menendez said.
Meter upgrades were stopped in mid-August after the overheating incidents were reported. At one point in summer, over 150,000 Sensus meters were affixed to area homes.
The new, reportedly safer L&G meters have been tested by the acclaimed Underwriters Laboratories, which confirmed that the L&G meters are “fully compliant,” PECO President and CEO Craig Adams said in a statement. L&G meters were also tested by PECO in the weeks after the Sensus unit fires.
“We have taken unprecedented steps to test our meters,” Adams said. “We are confident in the results of the scientific testing by independent experts.
While the new meters are L&G brand, Sensus will continue to be the communications network provider for PECO, Engel Menendez told Patch.
PECO customers set to get a new meter installed will receive two letters and a call beginning about six weeks prior. Those with any questions or concerns can call 1-855-741-9011.
Engel Menendez noted that installers come wearing full personal protective gear because they are dealing with electrified equipment; homeowners should not be alarmed.
Authorities in several different states are also investigating fires that are believed to be related to new smart meters.
By 2013, the Philadelphia-based utility hopes to placing over 1 million smart meters on homes across the service area. The replacement program is part of Pennsylvania’s Act 129, which provides PECO and customers with more information how household energy is used, and how to save resources and money. The new meters also allow remote should down of service if requested by emergency responders, Engel Menendez saidin summer. The effort is part of a program that is funded by a $200 million federal grant.
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