Occasional Catastrophic Digital Meter Failures ‘Worth the Risk’, According to Industry Executive

Robert Daniel 2 years ago 0

A utility industry document written in 2006 has been discovered that reviewed costs and benefits related to solid-state (digital) utility meters used for residential customers [1]. In that document, a senior vice-president for National Grid was quoted as follows:

“We lost several nights sleep worrying about catastrophic failures, but it was worth the risk.”

In November 2015, I wrote a revealing article that catastrophic failures were expected with ‘smart’ meters [2]. In fact, I carefully worded the introductory sentence to that article stating, “Smart Meters are expected to occasionally fail catastrophically while analog meters do not have that failure mode.”

I recall choosing the word “occasionally” after considerable thought and was not aware of anyone having previously used that descriptive term as applied to digital utility meters. The term was the best one I could objectively choose given the intermittent yet persistent reports of digital utility meters burning/exploding in areas across the United States, Canada, and Australia where smart meters have been deployed.

To my surprise, the 2006 document uses the same term “occasionally” where it was written:

“The three utilities were quite frank that solid-state meters do fail occasionally while electromechanical meters rarely fail completely.” [emphasis added]

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