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NEWS
August 30, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Regulators in two states are investigating allegations of dangerously overheating electric meters after Peco Energy Co. this month suspended installation of the devices when two of its customers' houses caught fire. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission staff has asked Peco for results of its investigation into the failure rates of the advanced "smart meters" that the utility began installing in March. Peco says 15 of the 186,000 digital devices it installed have overheated, including several that exploded into flames.
BUSINESS
August 29, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Regulators in two states are investigating allegations of dangerously overheating electric meters after Peco Energy Co. this month suspended installation of the devices when two of its customers' houses caught fire. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission staff has asked Peco for results of its investigation into the failure rates of the advanced "smart meters" the utility began installing in March. Peco says 15 of the 186,000 digital devices it installed have overheated, including several that exploded into flames.
BUSINESS
August 17, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Peco Energy Co. on Wednesday suspended its ambitious smart-meter installation program after 15 of the electrical devices overheated, including one that set fire to a home in Bucks County. The utility, which has installed 186,000 devices since March, said it has temporarily halted the project to investigate the cause of the malfunctions. "We want to make sure we understand exactly what is happening, since safety is our top concern," said Cathy Engel Menendez, the utility's spokeswoman.
BUSINESS
May 18, 2012 | Andy Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Institute for Electric Efficiency, a utility industry trade group, said Thursday that 36 million smart meters are now installed, up from 27 million in September, and that 65 million households will have the devices by 2015, about half the American households. In a report , the institute estimates that 22 electric utilities in 16 states will have smart meters fully deployed by the end of this year, including PPL Electric Utilities, Allentown, which rolled them out in 2004.
BUSINESS
May 9, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A proposal that would allow Pennsylvania utility customers to opt out of having "smart meters" installed in their houses generated little support Tuesday at a hearing in Harrisburg. Members of the House Consumer Affairs Committee expressed bipartisan skepticism about the need for legislation that would modify a 2008 law that gives utilities 15 years to install smart meters, which allow them to monitor usage in real time at a household level and to charge hourly prices to customers who choose time-of-use rates.
BUSINESS
April 15, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last month Peco Energy Co. began installing the first of 1.6 million new-generation electric meters, part of a transformation that it hopes will revolutionize the way that customers communicate with the utility. The new meters, which Pennsylvania is requiring for all large electric utilities, allow for two-way wireless communication with customers, setting the stage for time-of-use pricing next year. They also will improve utilities' ability to detect and manage outages, as well as to turn on or shut off customers remotely.
BUSINESS
October 10, 2011 | By Mike Armstrong, Inquirer Columnist
We may not have a national energy strategy, but it's great to see small businesses trying to make a buck helping big energy users get smarter about their consumption. It's even better when one of those companies decides to move from the suburbs into the city - without a government grant or loan to induce it to do so. That's what Viridity Energy Inc. did over the summer when it left cramped offices at 100 W. Elm St., Conshohocken, for 15,000 square feet on the 27th floor of 1801 Market St., where network operations are now based.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2009 | By Andrew Maykuth INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Peco Energy Co. was awarded a $200 million federal stimulus grant yesterday that will allow it to speed up deployment of "smart-grid" technology, including 600,000 advanced electric meters in the next three years. The grant will allow the Philadelphia electric utility to rapidly roll out a plan to install "smart meters" that will allow customers to monitor electric prices in real time. The utility plans to convert all 1.6 million of its customers to the devices in a decade. The Peco grant was among 100 U.S. Department of Energy grants totaling $3.4 billion.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2009 | By Andrew Maykuth INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Those new smart meters Peco Energy Co. and other utilities will install soon are being touted as money-savers that will give customers more control over their electric bills. But for the utilities, the meters' real worth lies in the information generated, including details that some customers might prefer remained secret. Already, Peco is analyzing daily readings to spot thieves who intermittently bypass the meters and steal power. And experts looking at meter data can discern the telltale signs of illicit activity, such as a marijuana "grow house.
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