Wireless meters have been making the headlines lately — whether they’re tracking parking spots or submitting power-use information to electric companies, and today Commonwealth Edison has a bit more unfortunate news. It announced that several of its smart meters have been involved in “small fires” in the Chicago area.
ComEd claims the problems aren’t because of the actual meters themselves but instead can be blamed on how they’re installed in homes and businesses. These fires are just the latest in a slew of unfortunate events connected to the devices, notes the Chicago Tribune.
A sister company of ComEd stopped its smart-meter installation in Philadelphia after 15 of 186,000 installed devices overheated. One fire was reported in that case. This week, Maryland regulators held a hearing with the four major electricity companies due to concerns relating to the Philadelphia incident. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. cited five incidents of overheating smart meters in that area as well.
“ComEd customers can be assured that we are taking every precaution possible to ensure their safety and satisfaction,” ComEd said in a statement. “We are working hand-in-hand with our PECO colleagues to understand and apply their key learnings here in northern Illinois.”
The meters are in about 130,000 homes and businesses so far, and the company says issues related to overheating have been few and far between. The company is now going to focus on how the devices are connected, as the incidents with small fires all had problems with the same type of socket.
“Technicians will look out for and modify the connection point when needed during full deployment of smart meters,” ComEd said.
ComEd confirms smart meters involved in ‘small fires’ [Chicago Tribune]