Oncor develops smart meter verification plan


Bob Shapard,
Chairman &
CEO, Oncor
Dallas, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 4, 2010 – Amid calls for independent testing of Oncor’s smart meters and a moratorium on further smart meter installations following complaints of increased bills and questions on the accuracy of the meters, the company’s chairman and CEO Bob Shapard has announced that a Smart Meter Verification Plan has been developed.

In a letter to the state PUC, Shapard said the Plan should provide the independent testing and information that it is believed customers may need to come to their own conclusions about smart meter accuracy and the factors driving higher electric bills this winter.

Commenting that Oncor has received several hundred calls from electric customers in the Killeen-Temple area who are concerned about the accuracy of their smart meters since mid-December, Shapard said the company’s testing, which has included more than 2,800 onsite meter tests at customers’ homes, in addition to the normal testing that all meters undergo, continue to demonstrate smart meter accuracy in measuring electric consumption.

“Our research and one-on-one conversations with these electric customers indicate that, in nearly every case, the factors driving higher electric bills in the Killeen-Temple area are extreme winter temperatures and inefficient electric heating sources,” said Shapard.

Nevertheless it is important that the company does more to show electric customers that they can feel the same confidence in their smart meters that it does, Shapard continued. To this end, key recommendations in the Plan, for approval by the PUC, include:

  • Independent testing of a statistically significant sample of customers’ smart meters in the Killeen-Temple area
  • Free independent testing of the smart meter to any customer in the Killeen-Temple area on request before Friday, March 12, 2010
  • A thorough independent system-wide design and software review related to the smart meters
  • The provision of 100 free in-home monitors to customers in the Killeen-Temple area.

Shapard said that Oncor is currently conducting a review of all customers’ records showing the last usage recorded from the traditional meter to ensure no human errors have occurred in the final reading of the traditional meter. Further the company is working to identify 24 volunteers to begin a recommended side-by-side smart meter vs traditional meter test.

Over the coming weeks Oncor also will schedule a number of visits of its Smart Texas Mobile Experience Center  (MEC) stops in the Killeen-Temple area, in order to provide customers the opportunity to learn more about smart meters and the Smart Meter Texas Portal.

Oncor has deployed more than 760,000 smart meters in its service area.