Fire Concerns Lead PECO To Halt Smart Meter Installations

Fire Concerns Lead PECO To Halt Smart Meter Installations

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PHILADELPHIA -

After at least two fires and over a dozen incidents of overheating, PECO is halting its controversial smart meter installation program.

The stunning announcement came Wednesday morning as FOX 29 Investigates pressed the company over a spate of recent incidents, including fires in Bucks County.

PECO had plans to install 1.6 million of the so-called smart meters.

The digital units are designed to conserve energy and help customers monitor their usage.

But over the past few months, concerns and complaints have grown that the installation of these new meters have sparked fires, including two recently in Bucks County.

Now, PECO is stopping installations as it takes a hard look at the meters and prepares to put safety measures in place

"Is PECO concerned that it has 186,000 meters in people's homes here that may represent a danger to them and their families?" FOX 29's Jeff Cole asked.

"This situation is obviously being taken very seriously," PECO spokeswoman Cathy Engle Menendez answered. "We have 186,000 meters, the vast majority of which are performing well., but we've had 15 cases where there have been issues."

Of the 15 incidents, PECO says it is still investigating nine. Six, they claim, were not caused by the smart meters.

Along with the abrupt halt of the meter installations, PECO says it will install warning and shutdown components on those already in place.

In his video report for Wednesday's FOX 29 News at 10, Cole spoke to some of the property owners who were impacted by the fires.

If you want your PECO meter or equipment inspected, officials there want you to give them a call. The number is 855-741-9011.

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