Apparently ConEd had told our contractor that they wanted to put the meters on the outside of the building so they could be easily read. Our contractor didn’t bring the issue up with us and ConEd only made a passing comment to me at one point.
When it really sunk in that they were putting the electrical meters on the front of the building we got a bit upset. I mean gas and electric meters on the front of a townhouse can be incredibly ugly (see pic below). I talked it over with Dan and with our architect and we decided to be firm that the meters must go in the cellar, as per plans.
Luckily we now have documentation that the National Park Service considers our building historically significant, so we were able to simply refuse on the basis that visible meters would alter the historic character of the building. At least ConEd understands that historic preservation trumps their needs/desires.
The really ridiculous part is that the technology exists to remotely read meters, but apparently it’s not being used because of the strength of the meter readers’ union.