US energy company NV Energy has revealed a three-step plan to improving smart meter safety in its service territory.
NV Energy submitted the information to the Nevada state regulator in late December 2014.
Smart meter safety
In a letter to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), NV Energy said it will take three steps to improve smart meter safety, reported local media.
First, the utility will install a firmware update that will allow a smart meter to send a signal or shut down if it overheats.
Second, engineers will monitor the meters more closely.
And third, and most significant for the industry, NV Energy will use a difference brand of meter on new installations.
Switching meter supplier
NV Energy spokesman Rob Stillwell said the utility’s decision to switch meter manufacturers was not related to the possible overheating of Sensus meters.
Mr Stillwell told the Reno Gazette-Journal that NV Energy began the procurement process for both meters at the start of the program in 2010, but the Sensus meters were manufactured more quickly.
He also said that the installation of the heat sensing firmware was planned prior to the PUC inquiry.
Smart meter probe
The energy company also handed over to the PUC a dossier of more than 1,000 documents as part of an investigation into the potential fire risk of the 1.24 million smart meters installed in homes and businesses.
Reno and Sparks fire chiefs called on state regulators last year to launch an inquiry following nine fires involving a smart meter or the electrical panel behind it.
PUC spokesman Peter Kostes said it will likely take about three months for state regulators to review the information submitted by NV Energy and provide a recommendation to the commission.