I've noticed that ConEdison seems to put in the heavy-duty locking rings when they do a new installation.
A small three story apartment house was built over the past year and in the past few months, the electric company men came in and installed the meters. They are located on the front of the building, next to the main entrances, under a sort of overhang. The gas meters are also done the same way -- a rack of pipes with meters hanging from them like big iron apples
Each electric meter is surrounded by a thick metal ring with a mean-looking lock on it, in addition to the seals. Seems like a typical New York City thing to do...make believe everyone is a crook...
I guess utilities are now using the tamper-proof meter rings for all outdoor installations? I saw Joe's picture of the flea market meters (with the rat's nest of wiring) that also had those heavy rings.
What's the situation in your area? Is the utility company using these for all new outdoor installations or just for people they're having billing quarrels with?
Also....in outdoor urban installations, why don't the utility companies insist on a sort of metal locker with a glass-covered slit to house the meter and protect it from vandalism?
For instance, the utility company in the city of Cali in Colombia requires this for all out-door installations now. You have to supply the meter "locker" that also holds the whole-house disconnect knife switch. You also buy the meter and the utility inspects and seals it.
Meters authorized by the electric company are the A-type ones with the connections made at the bottom of the device but I'm sure something could be adapted for the S-type meters... This would stop the common practice of vandals smashing the glass bubbles or putting stickers and scratching them so you can't read them.