GE beats market to UL safety certification for all smart meters


GE commercial and industrial smart metersThe utility solutions arm of GE has secured a voluntary safety certification for its commercial and industrial smart meters.

GE’s Digital Energy worked with global standardization and quality company Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to achieve the safety stamp for its range of C&I units, setting an industry first.

UL says GE is the first meter manufacturer that now meets certification requirements for all categories of smart meters – residential, commercial and industrial, following approval of its household units in April 2014, said Lisa Salley, vice president and GM, energy and power technologies at UL.

Ms Salley added: “Since it is a voluntary standard, the collaboration between GE and UL signals a strong commitment to the safety of smart meters for businesses and industries. Additionally, it raises the bar for the global marketplace.”

Smart meter electrical safety

All GE meters now comply with the Standard for Safety for Electric Utility Meters, as published earlier this year.

This standard contains requirements for electric shock, fire, mechanical and radio-frequency emissions aspects of all electric utility meters, including smart meters, and is the foundation for both the UL product safety certification service and the product safety testing service.

GE said in a statement that by meeting the new UL certification for commercial and industrial meters, GE can now provide its customers with an added level of confidence surrounding the quality and functionality of their smart meter installations.

Safety concerns realized

The move comes as utilities in North America investigate safety concerns surrounding smart meters and their electrical safety.

UL is developing an electric utility meter standard for Canada in a bid to address safety concerns in the wake of smart meter failures in the country.

UL said in November 2014 that it will work with Canadian stakeholders to develop a new standard to cover the electrical safety of meters.

The team working on the project will base the new standard on a current protocol for electric utility meters – UL 2735 – in order to speed up the process.

UL 2735 is already used in both Canada and the US for testing and verification.

(Pic credit: Association of the European Heating Industry)