Oregon: Portland General Electric replaces 70,000 Smart Meters, says remote disconnect switch is a fire risk

The Oregonian, July 24, 2014:

Portland General Electric is replacing 70,000 residential “smart” meters that run the risk of catching fire, many of them installed at rental properties in East Multnomah County.

PGE says three small meter fires have been reported in its service territory, with minor property damage in one case. It mailed out letters to affected customers this week and aims to have the affected meters replaced by the end of October.

The electrical component failures are limited to a subset of smart meters that it installed between 2010 and 2012. The affected model number is the Sensus 2F Gen3 RC. Customers can call PGE at 877-835-1435 or check online at pgemeterexchange.com.

The other 785,000 meters that the company installed with residences and businesses between 2009 and 2012 don’t have the same technology, which allows them to be turned on an off remotely. As such, the company says they don’t run the risk of catching fire.

Bill Nicholson, PGE’s Senior Vice President of Customer Service, said PGE first became aware of potential problems in 2013 and hired two separate consultants to evaluate the meters. Its initial testing was inconclusive, but it shared its results with the manufacturer, North Carolina-based Sensus, and asked for help.

“They are not recalling these”, Nicholson said. “This is our choice. This is our decision based on our assessment and our tests. We believe this risk is small, but it’s totally unacceptable to us.”

Reports of smart meter malfunctions, explosions and fires, meanwhile, have cropped up around the country and the world, including some meters manufactured by Sensus.

… PGE says it is working with Sensus on the meter replacements and it’s not clear at this point whether ratepayers, as a group, will be asked to cover the capital or installation costs of the replacements.

Complete article at:
http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2014/07/pge_replacing_some_electricity.html
PGE replacing 70,000 electricity meters because of fire risk

The three “small” fires don’t include the meters that blew off homes last year.

There have been several reports of problems with electrical equipment at homes, including a Sherwood home where an electrical meter was blown off the side of the house.

Other residents have reported blown meters, the smell of smoke in their homes…

 Comment:
Just got word from the EOC about their people running all over Sherwood feeling houses because of potential surge fires. [i]

PGE’s meter replacement doesn’t include this situation. This comment appeared on the Stop Smart Meters website (www.stopsmartmeters.org)

Smart Meter Explodes in Oregon

“I didn’t know that I had a smart meter until it blew up on 08/12/2010! I am an Oregon PG&E customer, now victim. I want to know if anyone else has seen a smart meter blow up. It threw flames out and black smoke was in the air for hours. I called PG&E, but they said it wasn’t possible for a meter to explode. I wrote letters, called many times, but they said that they were too busy to come look at meter. For five months it sat there black and the house black also from the blast. I had to be taken to the Dr. because the blast knocked me down onto the cement. My doctor has referred me to a specialist. I have never had health problems. Now I have severe pain running through the nerves of the right side of my body. I can only walk with crutches now and only sleep two to four hours per night. The bills continue to go higher each month, and my bill says “estimated usage.” Anon, Oregon

How many other customers have had similar problems?

How many have had problems with strangely high bills, like this PGE customer? [ii] After the Oregonian reported this incident, they quit covering the issue. Why?

And then there are the health problems that untold numbers of PGE customers are suffering.

The Oregon news media has been silent, so how would anyone know that there are widespread problems related to a utility meter?

Customers who wanted to “opt out” were charged the highest rates in the country — $253 for the installation and $51 per month.

The Oregon Public Utility Commission approved PGE’s proposal last year to replace its aging fleet of electrical meters, overriding the objections of ratepayer advocates who felt the technology wasn’t ready for prime time.[iii]

The Oregon PUC has been no public advocate at all.

In February, Oregon legislators heard presentations about the health problems from Smart Meters and wireless radiation.[iv] What action have they taken?

The Citizens Advisory Board has reportedly opposed Smart Meters, but what action has it taken? How is it warning the public?

And in the media, only KATU has done any investigation of Smart Meters.[v]

Five years after they started installing Smart Meters, Portland General Electric is just starting to face the problems with them.

How long before customers get real relief?

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[i] http://www.katu.com/news/local/Power-surge-in-Sherwood-leaves-thousands-without-electricity-208544831.html
Power surge in Sherwood leaves thousands without electricity (see photo with article)

[ii] http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2009/01/pge_customer_questions_intelli.html

PGE customer questions intelligence of new smart meters

[iii] http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2009/01/pge_customer_questions_intelli.html

PGE customer questions intelligence of new smart meters, January 6, 2009

[iv] https://smartmeterharm.org/2014/07/01/martin-pall-voltage-gated-calcium-channels/

[v] http://www.katu.com/news/local/Could-smart-meters-pose-health-risks-Some-say-yes-199882821.html
Could smart meters pose health risks? Some say yes

 

 

Article posted under Fair Use Rules.

Article posted under Fair Use Rules.

 

 

 

 

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