Stay safe and avoid fees
June 27, 2022
What you need to know about unauthorized equipment access
As a member of South Central Power Company, you’re also a part-owner of the cooperative. Together, we’re responsible for the safe operation of the equipment the cooperative uses to dependably deliver power to more than 123,000 meters in parts of 24 Ohio counties.
A sometimes-overlooked piece of cooperative-owned equipment is the meter, which often sits on the side of a member’s home or barn, silently delivering power and measuring usage, monitoring for problems, generating data members can use for home efficiency efforts, and more. Meters are installed and owned by the cooperative, but if a member wants to update their home’s siding or perform certain kinds of electrical work or other projects, the meter may need to be removed.
What should you do if you find yourself in a situation where your meter needs to be removed? Follow these steps for your safety, as well as to protect yourself from fees and other potential hardships.
- Call South Central Power first. Never allow a private electrician, contractor, or other non-co-op employee to remove your power meter, even temporarily. Pulling the meter yourself, or allowing someone else to do so, is unauthorized equipment access. Not only is it dangerous, it will result in a charge on your bill, because South Central Power personnel will need to make an unscheduled trip to your location to ensure the reinstalled meter is operating safely, as well as resecure the meter seal. South Central Power’s meters are equipped with technology that alerts us when a meter is removed or tampered with — so don’t take a chance. Call us first at 800-282-5064.
- Plan ahead so that once the cooperative has pulled your meter, any work can be performed safely and efficiently, and the meter can be reinstalled by cooperative personnel as soon as possible. There is no charge to pull your meter if the work is scheduled during business hours, although charges will apply if scheduled after hours or on weekends. South Central Power employees regularly coordinate this kind of work with private electricians and contractors — be sure to ask your contractor about this when you are planning any work around the home that requires your meter to be removed.
- Don’t fall for scams regarding your electric meter. You can find just about anything on the internet these days, including scams about equipment or steps you can take that can bypass, slow, or reverse your electric meter, saving you money. These devices are dangerous and illegal and can result in damage to your home and prosecution for power theft. The best way to slow the meter down is to decrease your energy use. Take a look at energy savings tips at southcentralpower.com or call an energy advisor at 800-282-5064 if you need assistance with saving energy around the home.
From the July 2022 issue of Ohio Cooperative Living.