Electricians say PECO gives them the runaround

Update: On Sept 21, 2016, at the solar collaborative initiated as a response to this campaign, PECO announced it would change this requirement in the next year! After replacing every meter in its service area a couple years ago, the company finally admits it needs to prepare for solar.

Rob, Solar Electrician

PECO is only utility in the state, perhaps in the country, that requires a second meter to install solar. They did a big expensive “smart” meter upgrade a few years ago for the meters to be remote-readable, but these meters aren’t smart enough to handle on-site electricity generation. This was an expensive, wasted opportunity. PECO needs to have an exception from regulations to require this second meter, which is often ridiculous to install. I wish I’d taken videos at some of the jobs I’ve done, to show how hard it is to put in.

Brent, Solar Installer

If that isn’t bad enough, PECO rules require that if you do work that “touches” the existing In meter, and it is located indoors — often the case in older Philly row houses — you must move the existing meter and put the new meter outside. Moving the meters outside can easily add thousands of dollars to the cost of going solar or stop a project dead if the client does not want a meter on the outside of their house.

We’ve spoken with PECO about the meter requirement and they admit the 2-meter requirement is NOT for safety reasons but because they use an antiquated billing system that isn’t able to read two-direction meters. This is a terrible excuse. In aggregate they are pushing millions of dollars in expenses onto their customers that updating their system would correct once and for all.

Tired of PECO’s runaround on local solar? Come to the PECO Runaround and Walkathon on October 1.

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