Burned out smart meter

Chantelle Deacon

A homeowner walked out of his home late Saturday night to find his smart electrical meter smoking and melting. 

Just before midnight on Aug. 12, Axle Hildebrand could smell a strong electrical burning scent coming from outside and quickly noticed his electrical meter was smoking. 

"I really smelled burning plastic," Hildebrand said. "I really wanted to find out where this was, I went over to the meter and the meter was smoking." 

Hildebrand called Penticton electric utility’s after hours line and crews were quick to respond but his house still went without power until the next day. 

The City of Penticton's electrical utility manager Shawn Fillice said that he has never seen anything like this happen to a smart meter. 

"What I suspect is either a loose connection for the customers conductor, that is attached to the meter base that goes to their main panel or the jaw itself that the meter plugs into it wasn't a good connection, it wasn't tight," Fillice said. 

Hildebrand said the entire costs of the repairs is in the thousands. 

"I think that this whole cost is incurred because of what the fire chief said and he said in his report that the meter had failed," Hildebrand said. "I feel that the homeowner should not have to pay for that because when the City of Penticton came to my property, because they were not getting a signal, it was almost like the engine check light was coming on."

"The meter was defective at that moment, the sensitive electronics were not sending out that signal, that means it should have been replaced that day."

The city said the smart meter was defective and they don't think this will be a reoccurring issue. 

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