- The Nevada Public Utilities Commission voted last week to investigate the safety of smart meters in NV Energy's service territory, the Associated Press reports.
- Fire chiefs in Reno and Sparks had asked the PUC to investigate after linking nine fires back to residential smart meters.
- NV Energy has been ordered to provide regulators with documents and information on meter fires, malfunctions and lawsuits within 60 days. Pat Eagan, senior vice president at NV Energy, said the utility would follow the order, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
1.1 million smart meters have been installed in NV Energy's service territory since 2011. 70 of those meters have been reported by the utility as "consumed," which means the casing on the meters was either melted or breached.
NV Energy uses meters made by Sensus, the manufacturer whose meters have now been recalled or replaced in Oregon, Pennsylvania and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. In August, several unexplained fires in SaskPower's service territory in Canada led to the recall of 105,000 Sensus meters. Just before that, three fires in Portland General Electric's service territory led to the replacement of 70,000 Sensus meters. And in 2012, Philadelphia utility PECO replaced Sensus meters in its territory after fires were reported.
Prior to the Nevada investigation, Sensus maintained any meter issues "are systemic in the industry" and are likely due to external factors, according to a statement following the Oregon recall. "The industry, as a whole, has experienced meter issues for years," spokeswoman Laura Palmer told the Oregonian in a statement at the time. "Given that there are more than 40 million meters deployed to date in North America, the failure rates are very low."