PGE exchanging subset of meters to ensure customer safety and optimal performance
July 23, 2014
PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland General Electric has begun exchanging 70,000 of its residential meters because recent company tests show they do not meet PGE’s operational and safety standards. PGE plans to resolve the issue by the end of October.
The problem is limited to a specific type of meter, installed primarily at some rental properties, that contains technology allowing it to be turned on and off remotely. The meters were installed between 2010 and 2012.
PGE’s remaining 785,000 meters are different types and are operating safely. No business customers are affected, nor are most residences.
PGE’s internal analysis and tests — confirmed by independent experts hired by the company — show this meter type did not perform optimally and in an extremely rare case, a meter could catch fire. Three small meter fires involving this type of meter have been reported in PGE’s service territory, with only minor property damage in one case.
“While the risk is extremely low, it’s simply unacceptable to us,” said Bill Nicholson, senior vice president of customer service, transmission and distribution. “We are deeply committed to our customers and their safety, so we are exchanging these meters as quickly as possible.”
The company has mailed letters to all affected customers, and launched a website (PGEMeterExchange.com) where customers can find more information and search using their eight-digit meter number to determine if it is one of the meters that will be exchanged. Customers can also call 877-835-1435 to learn more.
PGE always recommends customers take normal home safety precautions: keep flammable materials away from furnaces and electrical appliances, including the meter; check smoke detectors and fire extinguishers; and have an emergency exit plan.
Meters conduct electricity, so customers should never tamper with or attempt to remove the meter. Only PGE crews or its contractors should repair or remove a meter.
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About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a fully integrated electric utility that serves approximately 856,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon. Visit our website at PortlandGeneral.com.
For more information contact: Brianne Hyder, PGE, 503-464-8442