Hundreds of smart electricity meters exploded in California after a truck crashed into a utility pole and caused a power surge on Monday.The "Smart" meters are naturally more fragile to this sort of thing:
More than 5,000 homes in Stockton have been affected, according to CBS Sacramento, following a surge caused by a rubbish lorry driver crashing into a utility pole and causing the pole's top wire to touch its bottom wire.
"The top lines are considered our freeways. The bottom lines are our distribution lines taking power directly to homes," a Pacific Gas and Electric spokesperson told CBS. "So when the two collide, they’re at different voltages and the higher voltage wins out, causing an overload."
The Register notes that smart meters have to communicate with their corporate overlords outside the home. One commonly used method of doing so is powerline networking, which could mean a more direct connection between the meter's electronics and the mains feed into a home than would otherwise be the case.But Governments like them because they can remotely turn off your air conditioning when their pie-in-the-sky wind power isn't generating electricity because there's no wind.
Alternatively, it could be that non-smart meters which survived the surge were simple electromechanical models, and as such less likely to be affected by a surge than the smart meters. The latter would naturally contain relatively sensitive modern electronics.