State Utility Regulator Steps Into Smart Meter Controversy

State Utility Regulator Steps Into Smart Meter Controversy

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PHILADELPHIA -

It was a fire in a Bucks County home two weeks ago, and other issues related to PECO's smart meter program, which have drawn Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission into PECO's smart meter controversy.

Michael Cappeto of Upper Makefield said the "only thing that changed in his home was we had a new meter put in."  Cappeto says that meter was installed in July. On August 12th. the meter, the electric box and sections of his home all caught fire.

PECO says it is investigating this fire and eight other overheating incidents involving the new digital meters.  The utility says there have been 15 fires and meltdowns of the 186,000 meters installed to date.

Now, the Commonwealth's Public Utility Commission, in a letter obtained by Fox 29 Investigates, wants answers. 

The letter, dated last Friday, and sent to a top PECO official, lists 17 areas where the Commission wants to know more. 

The PUC asks the energy giant what it did to make sure its meter vendors were providing safe and reliable equipment and instillation. The Commission also wants to know how many meters have overheated and what type of training was provided to PECO and contractor installers.

PECO spokesperson Karen Muldoon Geus says "the smart meter issue in general is very important to us. The safety of our customers and employees is absolutely paramount." 

Muldoon Geus adds PECO's technical staff is putting together a response and the utility will meet the Commission's 10 day deadline to reply.

PECO has placed the installation of 1.6 million smart meters on-hold while it investigates problems with the program.

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