The utility calculates the average refund will be about $40 per customer. In addition, PG&E will also issue a $25 credit for customer inconvenience and offer a free in-home energy audit to affected customers.
Greg Kiraly, Vice President, SmartMeter Operations, says, “We take this issue very seriously and will do the right thing for our customers. We are committed to accurate metering and billing and will contact our affected customers immediately and issue full refunds. We encourage any customers with questions to call our SmartMeter help line at 1-866-743-0263.”
The defect causes the Landis+Gyr meters to occasionally run fast when experiencing a narrow band of high temperatures, resulting in a miscalculation of energy bills. The problem, which affects less than 0.08 percent of the SmartMeters supplied to PG&E was discovered by PG&E’s quality assurance program. If any additional meters malfunction, the diagnostic signals will flag the meters for immediate replacement.
Jerry Figurilli, Chief Operating Officer for Landis + Gyr North America, notes, “We are confident that we have identified the small population of meters with this defect based on the diagnostic flags and extensive additional testing in our labs and in the field.”
PG&E will share the technical analysis of the meter issue with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which approves the relevant testing standards for the metering industry.
As verified in independent tests, SmartMeters remain the most accurate and reliable tools for measuring customer energy use. The meters will also help PG&E and other utilities pinpoint electrical outages so service can be restored more quickly. They are an integral component of a larger national smart grid program, which will modernize the electric system and permit increased use of clean, renewable energy.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.