WAPA Gives Guidelines on Installation of Electric Meters on Utility Poles

Piles of new WAPA utility poles await their turn to be installed. (Anne Salafia photo)

As the electrical restoration efforts continue across the territory and as WAPA strives to return its operation to a greater state of normalcy, the authority reminds the public of its policies governing the installation of electrical meters.

            WAPA does not allow installation of customer meters on power poles. While in the past, customers had been allowed to install meters on poles, WAPA has been phasing out those installations as any repair work occurs, and it is now barring new meters from being installed on poles. With the current hurricane restoration underway and the need to replace poles destroyed by the storms, meters that had previously been installed on power poles will not be allowed back onto the poles.

            “We are discontinuing the practice of allowing customers to install meters on utility poles, due to general safety concerns for personnel and property associated with work that may occur on or around power poles,” said Acting Executive Director Clinton Hedrington Jr.

            For customers who have had meters installed on poles prior to the storms or have had their meter bases and/or weather heads destroyed by the hurricanes, a new location must be identified by the home or business owner for the restoration of service. However, Hedrington cautions that WAPA has no role in what design or material a customer chooses for a meter base and/or weather head, either attached to a building or on a stand-alone structure, whether concrete, metal or wood.

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“WAPA has no role in this process. Any structure existing or erected for a meter base and/or weather head is subject to approval by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources,” said Hedrington.

He explained that DPNR is the agency charged with the responsibility of issuing building and electrical permits in the territory. “Once DPNR approves the structure, the authority will conduct an inspection and subsequently reconnect the electrical service.”

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