Who Owns What?
Metering & Meter Equipment FAQ
You may remember a time when a friendly neighborhood meter reader came to your home every month to read your electric meter—for the most part, those days are behind us. However, we still have meter technicians out there pounding the pavement and back roads. They no longer have to read every meter on the Wharton County Electric Cooperative system, but are there to perform routine maintenance, meter exchanges, occasional readings, and troubleshoot any problems that may arise.
Our meters allow us to read your meter remotely, track outages, respond more quickly when the power goes out, and more easily spot and troubleshoot problems. They also enable more frequent readings to empower members to track their use daily through our SmartHub web portal and mobile app.
Here you will find our most frequently asked questions about the latest meter technology and what equipment WCEC is responsible for at your location.
What is the newest technology that WCEC has adopted?
We have recently added remote connect meters to our system allowing us to connect and disconnect power remotely from the office. The new meters can be strategically placed at locations that are remote cutting down on fuel costs and fleet mileage, in areas that may be dangerous to crews increasing employee safety, and at sites that may need to connect or disconnect frequently saving time for members and crews.
Are remote connect meters safe?
Safety is our priority so while the new meters can automatically disconnect power, an extra step is required on the member’s part to reconnect. Once our office staff sends the connect signal to the meter, the member must activate the meter to safely power the property back up. Each remote connect meter is equipped with a connect button that must be pressed to activate the meter. The connect button is generally black and located next to the reading display.
How often are meters tested or replaced?
All meters on the WCEC system are inspected and exchanged on a routine basis every 5-7 years. However, our metering software routinely detects connection issues so that technicians can go out to inspect the meter.
Who owns the meter?
WCEC owns the meter, as well as all poles, transformers, and wires up to the member’s meter service entrance (meter loop).
What is a meter loop?
The meter loop (meter service entrance) is the assembly of equipment that allows the flow of electricity from WCEC’s electric grid to your home or business. A meter loop may consist of the weatherhead, the service mast or riser, and the meter can (meter enclosure). Examples of both underground and overhead meter loops can be seen displayed in the infographic at the top of this page. According to WCEC’s tariff, the member shall provide the service entrance, conductors, and any receptacles for the receipt of electric energy. The member is responsible for complying with the National Electric Code (NEC), WCEC’s Meter Loop Specifications, and any other applicable city/county electrical wiring regulations.
What does “Red Tag” mean?
“Red Tag” means that there is a hazard or repair needed to the meter loop or other member-owned equipment at a location. WCEC’s linemen and technicians routinely inspect this equipment during repairs, outage restoration, meter exchanges, or routine maintenance. If a hazard or a needed repair is noticed, a door hanger will be left at the property (if possible). A notice will also be sent to the member through certified mail.
If you have received one of these notices, it is your responsibility to take any necessary action. WCEC strongly recommends that you consult with a qualified electrician to complete the needed repairs.
Not correcting any reported issues may pose an electrical hazard that could cause bodily injury, damage to your property or WCEC equipment, future outages, and/or problems with your electric service. If WCEC feels that the hazard warrants, power may be disconnected to the property to avoid immediate danger to the member or family, the property, WCEC equipment or personnel, or the public.
Additionally, if electric service at a location with a meter loop that does not meet the required specifications is disconnected for any reason (including equipment damage, outage, or delinquent disconnect) or at the transfer of service to another member, the member-owned equipment must comply before WCEC can reconnect or transfer electrical service. Additionally, if damage to WCEC equipment occurs, WCEC reserves the right to bill the member for any equipment that must be replaced including labor charges and/or trip fees incurred in the repair.
WCEC assumes no liability for the identification of these hazards/repairs or solutions beyond the scope of our services.
These are just a few of the questions we are asked about our metering system. If you have any other questions or would like more information, please call us at 979-543-6271.