I-Team: Why your power may go out as you work, take classes at home

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(WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has found the electricity may go out at your home even as you work online or your kids take classes online. So, we investigated what’s happening and what you should know.

Crews are going to houses putting in new hi-tech meters for FirstEnergy called Smart Meters.

Millions of customers will get them. And, it only takes a few minutes. But, you can’t afford to lose power during an important meeting or a class on the computer.

We found a worker going home-to-home in Solon. And there, we met Kim Braden and her son, Mason.

She works full-time from home, and due to COVID-19, he’s on the computer four hours a day for school.

So, we asked FirstEnergy about replacing meters now when so many people are working from home and taking classes.

Spokesman Mark Durbin said, “We’re willing to work with the customers any way we possibly can.”

He said FirstEnergy is doing all it can to limit the impact by sending recorded messages in advance and rescheduling, if needed.

Durbin added, “If there is a problem on that day, we can set up a time later that is more convenient to the customer.”

We also checked out what these new meters will mean to you. FirstEnergy says the utility company will no longer need to send anyone out door-to-door to take meter readings. And, with the new meters, there shouldn’t be any need to estimate use of electricity.  And, eventually, these meters will send a signal to the power company immediately when power goes out, say, from a storm.

There’s no telling how long families will have to keep doing so much online at home. But, so many meters are getting replaced, that work will go on for a very long time.

You can find out more about the Smart Meters by calling 888-895-1044.

You can also get more information about where these meters are being installed by clicking on www.firstenergycorp.com/Ohiosmartmeter. Look for “Deployment Schedule.”

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