Are ‘smart’ meters dangerous? Man wins round in fight with electric company

Are ‘smart’ meters dangerous? Man wins round in fight with electric company

By Matt Miller |
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on February 10, 2017 at 7:00 AM, updated February 10, 2017 at 7:07 AM

At least for now, a Philadelphia man has won a round in his fight with the electric company.

It came this week when a Commonwealth Court panel ordered the Public Utility Commission to give Antonio Romeo a chance to prove his claim that a “smart” electric meter PECO wants to install at his home isn’t safe.

This is something of a David and Goliath story, since Romeo doesn’t even have a lawyer.

Romeo began loading his slingshot by refusing to allow PECO workers onto his property to install a smart meter required as part of a state program to reduce energy consumption. He claims such meters are dangerous because they can catch fire.

PECO fought back and won rulings from an administrative law judge and the PUC requiring Romeo to give in. Then came the Commonwealth Court opinion by Judge P. Kevin Brobson.

Brobson agreed with the PUC in tossing out Romeo’s claim that federal law allows him to fend off PECO’s meter installation.

However, Brobson concluded that the PUC dismissed Romeo’s safety argument a bit too quickly. The commission rejected Romeo’s contention about meter fires on grounds that he didn’t personally provide any proof to back it up.

Romeo did provide links to two news articles about the supposed safety issue, the state judge noted. Brobson ordered the PUC to hold another hearing focusing just on the danger claim to give Romeo the opportunity to substantiate his concerns.


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