Smart meter fires: regulator gives NV Energy 60 days to hand over evidence


nv_energy smart meter firesIn the US state of Nevada, the local energy regulator got the green light last week to probe NV Energy about the safety of smart meters, reports the Reno Gazette.

The Public Utilities Commission voted to launch an enquiry following calls from local fire chiefs that smart meters couldn’t be ruled out of causing nine fires.

Smart meters vs analog meters

NV Energy, which has installed Sensus smart meter modules in over 1 million residential and commercial addresses, will have to provide documents answering 20 detailed questions concerning meter failures, the number of fires associated with the meters, any lawsuits involving the meters and internal investigation documents on the meter fires, according to the local paper.

The PUC has also asked for information that would allow them to compare whether fires associated with smart meters are occurring more frequently than fires that occurred with traditional analog meters.

The PUC has stopped short of compelling NV Energy to present this information within 30 days, as requested by a consumer group, giving the energy company 60 days to hand over documentation.

Smart meters not responsible

Officials from NV Energy said they have investigated and don’t believe the meters caused any of the blazes but NV Energy’s vice president Pat Eagan told the PUC the company will comply with the order for records.

NV Energy officials said they are committed to their customers’ safety and have earnestly investigated each report of a ‘consumed meter’ to determine whether it was the meter’s fault.

NV Energy has reported 70 ‘consumed meters’ since the smart meter program began.

In most of the nine meter fires, they have identified other contributing factors such as water damage, a door blown shut by the wind that may have jiggled something lose at the meter and an apartment dweller trying to borrow electricity from a neighbor with an extension cord.