Pennsylvania Electric Company (PECO) has finally begun its full scale roll-out of smarter meters. Its slowness to implement the recently-mandated 15-minute increment bi-directional reporting meters may have to do with the fact it invested millions of dollars of rate-payer funds in now-outmoded ‘smart’ remote-readable meters only a few years ago, in what was probably just a matter of unfortunate timing for the ratepayers.
The new meters will help PECO and its customers better understand their electrical use, and adapt behavior to the actual cost of generating electricity, as alternative generation providers offer time-of-use tariffs with different prices different times of day, or even spot-market tariffs that could change price every 15 minutes.
PECO’s new smart meters fail to achieve compliance with PA’s Act 129 for grid-tied solar PV
As a NABCEP-certified solar electric PV installer, my biggest disappointment with the smart-meter roll-out in PECO territory has to do with PECO’s longstanding refusal to comply with PA Act 129, which requires PECO to offer customers a single, bi-directional meter for measuring both conventional consumption from the grid, and PV energy delivered to the grid, for billing credits in the customer’s favor.
Under Act 129, PA electric distribution companies (EDC’s) must provide a singel, bi-directional meter for solar PV grid-tied customers, upon request. However, although other PA utilities have adopted smart metering solutions that incorporate bi-directional metering, PECO has somehow managed to select a product that does not meet the Act 129 requirements. Meanwhile PUC has taken a decisively passive role on enforcement of the law. After I filed an informal complaint with the Public Utilities Commission, PECO responded that indeed they will not offer single, bi-directional meters to any customers. PUC has informed me that the only way forward is a formal complaint that runs through a court-like administrative justice system, and which requires that the complainant have standing in the sense that they directly suffered as a result of the violation of law.
I’m not holding my breath while I search for a PV customer who wants to spend time in court as a complainant. Try selling a few days in court as an ‘added perk’ to your next customer, and see how your sales go!
Smart meters in the press…
Have you had a smart meter installed in PECO territory?
Please, comment below or contact me directly to give a consumer’s-eye-view of the setup process and whether and how have you taken advantage of the new information your meter provides.
- PECO resumes smart meter roll-out after issues with fires
- PECO Smart AC Saver(TM) demand-response control for central air conditioning in homes and businesses
- Smart meters, smart future by Clean Air Council. Glossary of grid, ‘smart’ and metering terms to aid in understanding the changes.
- PECO to phase out off-peak rate for water heating and other heating appliances
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