UL Listing for Electric Meters


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Discuss potential for a UL listed electric meter, as well as UL involvement in meter approval as a third party test lab.

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UL Listing for Electric Meters

  1. 1. UL Listing for Electric Meters Prepared by Tom Lawton, TESCO – The Eastern Specialty Company for the Spring Energy Council of New England (ECNE) Conference Meter & Revenue Protection Metering Track March 15, 201310/02/2012 Slide 1 1
  2. 2. Session Objectives• Understand Current Meter Standard Testing• Understand Why UL is Working on Meter Standard• Understand What’s in the Draft Standard UL 2735• Understand the Relationship with ANSI• Status of the UL Standard Development• Challenges of Implementing the UL Standard 2
  3. 3. Current Meter Standard TestingMeter Testing for new and in-service meters is specified inANSI C12.1-2008, American National Standard for ElectricMeters, Code for Electricity Metering. Most utilitycommissions use this Standard a reference or the basis for theirmeter testing requirements.ANSI C12.1 is focused on maintenance of meter accuracyunder various test conditions along with safe meter operationunder various hazard conditions such as • Exposure to Surge Conditions • Exposure to Temporary Overloads • Exposure to High and Low Temperatures • Exposure to RF • Exposure to Magnetic Fields 3
  4. 4. Current ANSI C12.1 Performance Requirements 4
  5. 5. Current Meter Testing to Standards• Many State Utility Commissions require that new electric meters meet ANSI C12.1 and C12.20 requirements.• New meters are tested using all or a group of tests specified in ANSI C12.1 and C12.20, typically performed by the meter vendors.• Meter vendors have different interpretations of certain ANSI tests and even what “ANSI qualified” means. 5
  6. 6. Current Meter Testing to Standards• During AMI deployments the burden is shifting to utilities to insure the thoroughness and accuracy of the meter vendor ANSI testing.• Continued adherence to the ANSI Standard depends on the meter vendor’s design control and manufacturing process control• ANSI does not do audits of meter vendors testing facilities or their manufacturing facilities 6
  7. 7. Self Regulation of Standards• ANSI is self-regulating. Unless a customer challenges or requests copies of ANSI tests that lead to the claim of being ANSI compliant by the vendor there is no outside regulating body.• Certain states such as New York require a separate approval process before a meter can be used within the state by a regulated utility for revenue purposes on a customer site. This is the exception rather than the rule.• If no issues arise this system of self regulation will work indefinitely.• When issues arise the public starts to look for outside regulating bodies. 7
  8. 8. Issues Arising?For the first time in our collective careers meters have been inthe popular meter in an unflaterring way. Segments of thegeneral population have the perception that; • AMI Meters may spontaneously catch • AMI Meters may blow up • AMI Meters may disconnect power by themselves • AMI meters are “cheap computers” and are not robust enough for long term outdoor use 8
  9. 9. What regulatory alternatives are out there?When US Consumers think about electrical safety within theirhome they think about licensed electricians and inspectors forelectrical work and the UL Mark for products used within theirhome. • Customer: Why don’t meters have a UL label? Are the AMI meters safe? • Utility: Are ANSI standards “tough” enough? How good is the meter vendor testing? - Excerpt from PECO News Release October 9, 2012 9
  10. 10. WHY Consider UL? •UL standards are focused on safety versus meter operation. •UL is nationally and internationally recognized by Utility Customers •UL is an independent product assessment firm •UL provides outside regulation and inspections of manufacturers •As a private, not for profit, entity UL hasrecognized this interest and eagerly stepped forward. 10
  11. 11. UL Meter Safety Standard 2735Currently a Draft Standard under reviewScope All Type S and Type A electric meters rated up to 600 volts and any other type of meter intended forinstallation within the enclosure of “completeequipment”.Contents Meter Construction Requirements Meter Performance Meter Markings Standards for Components 11
  12. 12. UL Meter Safety Standard 2735 Meter Construction RequirementsMeter forms as defined in ANSI C12.10 unless alternate forms are specified by a UtilityEnclosuresCoversCT’s, internal and externalBatteriesService SwitchesCircuit BoardsUL recognized or tested components 12
  13. 13. UL Meter Safety Standard 2735Meter Performance Tests Tests for various fault conditions How easy to set on fire Strength of Construction Some tests from ANSI C12.1 Section 4 13
  14. 14. UL Meter Safety Standard 2735 Component StandardsUL Standards for many meter components willapply: • Fuses • Transformers • Switches • Terminal Blocks • Connectors 14
  15. 15. Status of the UL Standard Development• Meter Safety Joint Working Group formed in late 2011 to develop UL Standard with assistance from ANSI C12.1 Committee. Members: • ANSI (Utilities and Vendors) • UL• First draft posted by UL for comment in Feb 2013• Many issues to work out 15
  16. 16. Issues to Address• UL is very interested in capitalizing on this opportunity to regulate electric meters – a market they have been excluded from in the past by the NFPA• Draft Standard 2735 was issued without any prior notification to the ANSI C12 Main Committee despite assurances that UL would work with and participate with ANSI to avoid a Standard that contradicts the complementary ANSI standard• Manufacturing cost for a meter would increase significantly – neither the manufacturer nor the end user are sure how much this cost increase will be or if the increase is warranted. 16
  17. 17. Challenges of Implementing a UL Standard• Agreement on a common standard by UL and ANSI• Meter vendor acceptance of the new standard• Coordination of UL and ANSI testing of meters• Lead Time and Cost of UL listing• Need for ANSI Testing in the shadow of a UL Standard• UL part of new meter certification process• UL part of new component selection and design changes 17
  18. 18. Pro’s and Con’s of a UL Mark on Electric MetersPro’s • Greater perception of safety by the general public • Outside inspection to maintain certification • All changes to meter construction are monitored and approved by an outside group 18
  19. 19. Pro’s and Con’s of a UL Mark on Electric MetersCon’s • Greater cost to Utility and Utility customers • Slower innovation for meters • Potential for short term meter shortages after implementation • Potential for fewer meter vendors and options for Utilities 19
  20. 20. Use of UL as an Independent Test LabCurrent involvement of UL in the metering space • Independent Test Lab to run ANSI tests • Independent Test Lab to run customer specific tests • Independent Test Lab to recommend and run safety tests on any metering product 20
  21. 21. Questions?Please feel free to call or e-mail any questions Tom Lawton Tom.Lawton@TescoMeterManager.com 215-688-0298 (cell) THE EASTERN SPECIALTY COMPANY 21