Lawsuit in Texas that contains testimony given under oath by journeyman linesmen who have worked for utilities for many years. They state that ITRON Openway meters used by Centerpoint Energy in Houston, the very same model being used by BC Hydro and Fortis BC, have failed in large numbers.
Of particular note:
1) Those testifying had confirmed fires and failures with other linesmen and trouble-shooters prior to making the statements. Pg. 25
2) The linesmen reported that the utility had “two pallets of burned up (Itron) meters”. Pg. 8
3) The linesmen reported problems with “meters’ communication with the remote site control and many issues with meters melting and burning up.” Pg. 8
4) Linesmen determined that “part of the problem was a loose connection between the meter and the meter base because the smart meters had thinner “blades” than the previous analog meters” (emphasis added) Pg. 8 This gap could cause arcing leading to fires.
5) Concerns were raised about the ITRON smart meters “creating arc flashes, which could burn the customers’ wiring and create ‘hazardous conditions.’ …These hazardous conditions include potentially causing arc flashes, which could result in anything from minor to third degree burns to technicians who remove the meters.” Pg. 8
6) An experienced trouble-shooter for a utility reported that he had “responded to more fire calls once the smart meters were deployed and these often involved heating problems at the meter base.” Pg. 13
7) “ Reed’s testimony concerned products used by Respondent. Landis + Gyr is the manufacturer of the AMS meter used by Respondent and Itron is the manufacturer of the meters used by CenterPoint Energy in Houston.” Pg. 25
The model used in Houston is the ITRON C2SOD, Openway Centron II the same model used by BC Hydro and Fortis BC.
The Union’s Historical Involvement and Advocacy Concerning Smart Meters
” Childers told Reed that the loose connection caused heat, which, in turn, caused an electrical arc, which resulted in “two pallets of burned up meters” in CenterPoint’s meter shop. (Tr. 265, LL. 13-22). Childers also told Reed that when CenterPoint technicians pulled the meters out, the meters were creating arc flashes, which could burn the customers’ wiring and create “hazardous conditions.” (Tr. 267, LL. 16-21; 274, LL. 9-20). These hazardous conditions include potentially causing arc flashes, which could result in anything from minor to third degree burns to technicians who remove the meters. (Tr. 275, LL. 12-20). More generally, Childers reported meter technicians had reported problems with meters’ communication with the remote site control and many issues with meters melting or burning up. (JD Slip Op. at 12, LL. 33-36).
Childers brought to the hearing two burned smart meters as demonstrative aids, with Meter A being burned and Meter B on its way to being burned. (Tr. 267 passim; GC Exh. 9-19). Childers explained that a loose connection caused the meter to start to burn which eventually resulted in catastrophic failure. (Tr. 273, LL. 21-25; 274, LL. 1-4).
Smart meters have also created extra work for workers represented by IBEW Local 66 (Tr. 276, LL. 22-25). Childers explained that analog meters did not have the same problem of burning as smart meters. (Tr. 277, LL. 12-17). “
Former Meter Reader testifies about Smart Meter Fires