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New Safety Concerns Over PECO Meter Installations

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  • Contact Peco

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    Thursday, September 13 2012 1:33 PM EDT2012-09-13 17:33:52 GMT
    If you want your PECO meter or equipment inspected, officials there want you to give them a call. The number is 1-855-741-9011.
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    The number is 1-855-741-9011.
  • Fox 29 Investigates: PECO Meters

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    Tapping in to a PECO electric meter is a dangerous and sometimes deadly practice.
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PECO'S multi-million dollar smart meter program shut down last week following fire and safety concerns.

Now, as the energy giant re-evaluates the program, a new safety issue is being raised - are some workers required to meet installation quotas?

"This is shocking to me."

PECO spokesperson Cathy Engel Menendez was taken aback when Fox 29 showed her a notice that seems to indicate that smart meter installers for a PECO sub-contractor must meet a performance quota, or be disciplined.

A so-called "Constructive Counseling Notice" was given to Fox 29 Investigates Jeff Cole last week by a worker who claims he was suspended for not installing enough meters. The employee works for Grid One Solutions, a company sub-contracting with PECO to install thousands of the new meters.

The notice, written about two weeks ago, states that the employee will be "required to meet and exceed his 30 meter quota," and "failure to do so will result in further disciplinary action."

Last week, following a Fox 29 investigation and two recent fires in Buck's County, PECO suspended the federally funded program over growing concerns that the installation of the digital meters could spark fires.

PECO says there have been 15 overheating incidents since they began installing the meters last year. To date, 186,000 meters have been installed. PECO says nine of the incidents were the result of existing electrical conditions. Six are still under investigation.

Engel Menendez says Grid One has told PECO that it does not impose a quota system. Menendez believes if installers must meet performance goals, safety could be an issue.

"It's just frankly against the paramount focus of safety," Menendez says. "It is unequivocally not the way PECO conducts itself."

"The guys are driven pretty hard."

Scott Cummings of northeast Philadelphia says he worked for Grid One Solutions for about two years. He says smart meter installations have involved electrical arcs, flashes and fires. He says he also knows about performance quotas.

"We have guys that could put in 50 or 60 per day and they were the golden boys," Cummings says. "We had guys that put in 18 and we were told to manage them to production and get rid of them."

 "Our bottom line is to keep people safe," Menendez emphasizes. "And if that's something that would not keep people safe, we want to put a stop to it."

 Late Tuesday afternoon, Fox 29 received an email from Grid One.

It states that "an employee goal" was incorrectly referred to as a "quota" as part of an individual employee's performance counseling. The email says that Grid One has an "employee performance goal of 30 meter installations per day" based on past experience with similar installations."

 

 

  • PECO Smart MetersMore>>

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    Thursday, September 13 2012 1:42 PM EDT2012-09-13 17:42:09 GMT
    It was a fire in a Bucks County home two weeks ago, and other issues related to PECO's smart meter program, which have drawn Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission into PECO's smart meter controversy.
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  • Fire Concerns Lead PECO To Halt Smart Meter Installations

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    Thursday, September 13 2012 1:41 PM EDT2012-09-13 17:41:55 GMT
    Only On FOX: There was a major announcement from the region's energy giant after a FOX 29 Investigation. PECO is shutting down a massive, federally-funded energy program.
    Only On FOX: There was a major announcement from the region's energy giant after a FOX 29 Investigation. PECO is shutting down a massive, federally-funded energy program.
  • New Safety Concerns Over PECO Meter Installations

    New Safety Concerns Over PECO Meter Installations

    Thursday, September 13 2012 1:41 PM EDT2012-09-13 17:41:39 GMT
    PECO'S multi-million dollar smart meter program shut down last week following fire and safety concerns. Now, as the energy giant re-evaluates the program, a new safety issue is being raised - are some
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  • Local NewsMore>>

  • FEELING LIKE FALL

    Monday, September 15 2014 8:20 PM EDT2014-09-16 00:20:35 GMT

    A chance of rain by Tuesday morning.

    Tuesday begins with clouds and a few early morning showers.  Most of the rain will be light and around a tenth of an inch is expected.  Sun and clouds by the afternoon. High 75.

    Tuesday (75/60): A.M. Showers

    Wednesday (74/54): Sunny/Mild

    Thursday (76/56): Sunny/Nice

    Friday (73/54): Sunny/Nice

    Saturday (75/55): Sun/Clouds

  • Police Looking For Man Who Robbed Princeton, NJ Bank

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  • Burglar Caught Climbing Through Window in Havertown

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    Haverford Police were called to the 1000 block of Allston Rd in Havertown on Monday morning after someone confronted a burglar climbing through a second floor window of their home.After being confronted, the man exited out of the same window and ran away. Officers responded to the area and located the man on East Township Line Road. When officers stopped him, he pushed a detective and continued running. After a short foot pursuit, he was taken into custody and identified as Paul E. Giuliano, ...
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