Digital Meters Succumb to Human Error

Flag of Virginia (Abstract)

Virginia—(METERING.COM)—March 21, 2006 – Nancy Lepri considers herself a good citizen; she pays her taxes and involves herself at all levels in the community. However, in January of this year she received a shock when her power bill was unusually high. After she took up the issue with Progress Energy, her local power provider, the amount was altered. The discrepancy was attributed to newly installed digital meters which, according to Progress, were supposed to make the task of meter reading more accurate and less intrusive.

In February Nancy received yet another high bill. On this occasion, however, Progress stood by their figures – but an investigation by local media revealed that Nancy’s experience was not an isolated incident. In fact, several residents from Nancy’s River Road neighborhood had complained of unusually high power bills.

When reached for comment, Progress Energy spokesperson Heidi Deja said that the installation of digital meters was a “phased in process, so meter readers were still manually punching in the actual numbers into a hand held device until the system converts into that mobile data collector”.

Shortly after this, Progress Energy announced an update. It transpired that a meter reader had been fired from Progress Energy for reasons of poor work quality a few weeks earlier. Now Progress has undertaken an investigative and possible adjustment process for those who believed they had been overcharged on their power bills.