§ 59.18. Meter, regulator and service line location.
(a) General requirements for meter and regulator location.
(1) Unless otherwise allowed or required in this section, meters and regulators must be located outside and aboveground.
(2) Except in the case of an emergency, a utility shall provide written notice to a utility customer by first class mail or by personal delivery at least 30 days prior to relocating and subsequently installing a meter or regulator outside the customers building. The notice must request that if the customer is not the owner of the building, the customer shall forward the written notice to the owner of the building. If the utility knows the current address of the owner of the building, notice shall also be mailed or delivered to that address.
(3) The written notice must inform the customer and building owner of the equipment that the utility proposes to relocate, the planned new location and how to contact the utility to provide supplemental information that the utility may not have, such as the buildings historic status. The written notice must include contact information for the Commissions Bureau of Consumer Services.
(4) When necessary to install meters at multiple locations on a premises, a utility shall provide a tag or other means to indicate there are multiple meter locations.
(5) When selecting a meter or service regulator location, a utility shall consider potential damage by outside forces.
(6) The meter location must accommodate access for meter reading, inspection, repairs, testing, changing and operation of the gas shut-off valve.
(7) When feasible and practical to do so, the meter location must accommodate the installation of the service line in a straight line perpendicular to the main.
(8) Meters and service regulators may not be installed in the following locations:
(i) Beneath or in front of windows or other building openings that may directly obstruct emergency fire exits.
(ii) Under interior stairways.
(iii) Under exterior stairways, unless an alternate means of egress exists and the meter and service regulator are installed in a well-vented location under stairs constructed of noncombustible material.
(iv) A crawl space.
(v) Near building air intakes under local or State building codes.
(vi) In contact with soil or other potentially corrosive materials.
(9) Unless caused by a customers or building owners violation of applicable gas safety or tariff rules, a utility shall pay the costs of relocating a meter or regulator when the relocation is performed to meet utility or Commission safety requirements.
(10) Unless caused by a customers or building owners violation of applicable gas safety or tariff rules, a utility shall pay the cost of extending customer-owned facilities to the new meter or regulator location when the relocation is performed to meet utility or Commission safety requirements.
(11) A customer or building owner requesting that a meter or regulator be moved shall pay the costs associated with relocation when the meter and regulator are currently situated in a suitable location under State and Federal regulations.
(12) Utilities shall address meter, regulator and service line location regulations in their tariffs.
(b) Outside meter or service regulator locations. Outside meters or service regulators shall be installed in one of the following locations:
(1) When feasible and practical to do so, aboveground in a protected location adjacent to the building served, or as close as possible to the point where a production or transmission line is tapped.
(2) In a buried vault or meter box.
(i) The vault or meter box must be located on a customers or building owners property, either adjacent to the building served or near the gas main.
(ii) Vaults may be located in a public right-of-way, subject to the consent of local jurisdictions as may be required.
(c) General requirements for vaults or meter boxes.
(1) A utility shall consider proper design and location criteria for a meter box, including:
(ii) Vehicular traffic.
(iii) Soil accumulation.
(iv) Surface water runoff.
(v) High water table.
(vi) Proximity to building air intakes or openings.
(vii) Proximity to an excessive heat source as defined in 49 CFR 192.353(c) (relating to customer meters and regulators: location).
(2) Piping installed through vault walls shall be properly coated to protect from corrosion.
(3) Vaults containing gas piping may not be connected by means of a drain connection to any other underground structure.
(4) When a meter box is located outside a paved surface, a utility shall consider fill, topsoil or sod being placed over the vault and, when feasible and practical to do so, choose an alternate location.
(d) Inside meter locations.
(1) Inside meter locations shall be considered only when:
(i) The service line pressure is less than 10 psig.
(ii) A meter is located in a building that meets one of the following criteria:
(A) A building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the customer or building owner notifies the utility that the building is eligible to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the eligibility can be readily confirmed by the utility.
(B) A building is located within a historic district that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the customer or building owner notifies the utility that the historic district is eligible to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the eligibility can be readily confirmed by the utility.
(C) A building has been designated as historic under the act of June 13, 1961 (P. L. 282, No. 167) (53 P. S. § § 80018006), known as the Pennsylvania Historic District Act, the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (53 P. S. § § 1010111202) or a municipal home rule charter.
(D) A building is located within a locally designated historic district or is eligible for the listing, or a building is individually designated under a local ordinance as a historic landmark or is eligible for the listing.
(iii) Protection from ambient temperatures is necessary to avoid meter freeze-ups.
(iv) A utility determines that a meter is subject to a high risk of vandalism based on the utilitys prior experience.
(v) A utility determines that an outside meter location is neither feasible nor practical.
(2) Except for low pressure systems with service line pressure less than 10 psig, regulators must be located outside when a meter is located inside.
(3) Installed inside meters must be attached to an operable outside shut off valve.
(4) Meters installed within a building must be located in a ventilated place not less than 3 feet (914 millimeters) from a source of ignition or source of heat which may damage the meter.
(e) Other meter or service regulator locations. A utility may consider a specially constructed cabinet recessed in the building wall, sealed from inside the building and vented to and accessible from outside the building.
(f) General requirements for new service lines. When feasible and practical to do so:
(1) A building may not have more than one service line.
(2) A service line must terminate at the inlet valve of the meter set in the building in which the service line enters.
(3) The service line must be installed in a straight line perpendicular to the main.
(g) Application of regulation.
(1) Beginning September 13, 2014, utilities shall comply with this section for new meter, regulator and service line installations in new locations.
(2) Beginning September 13, 2014, utilities shall comply with this section when replacing existing meters, regulators and service line facilities.
(3) By September 13, 2034, utilities shall complete replacement of existing facilities in compliance with this section or incorporate the requirements of this section in a distribution integrity management plan, whichever occurs first.
The provisions of this § 59.18 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § 501.
The provisions of this § 59.18 amended September 12, 2014, effective September 13, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 5835. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (246410).
Notes of Decisions
Authorizing natural gas distribution company (NGDC) to decide location of natural gas meter in historic buildings under 52 Pa. Code § 59.18 without providing basic policy choices and adequate standards by which the NGDC must determine location of gas meter violated Pennsylvania Constitutions prohibition against improper delegation of authority. City of Lancaster v. Public Utility Commn, 284 A.3d 522, 533 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2022).
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