House surge suppressor installed at the meter

It has been posted that installing a whole house suppresor at the electric meter by the energy provider can protect your house from a lightning hit.
I tried to get more info on the thread but wasn't successful it was a little off the thread topic.

So, I thought a seperate thread with that topic would be useful.
It seems to me that with all the money I have invested in my Audio system if this would really protect it, it would be worth it.

However, I have never heard of such a unit being available.

Can anyone provide more info?
Such as,
1. has anyone had a unit like this installed ?
2. What are the claims for protectiom ?
3. Price.
1. Yup. Many of us have done so. Check the posts of Chu Gai on this topic on AVSforum for lots of info.

2. Basically, the effectiveness of redirecting a surge depends on having a relatively low impedance path to ground. Putting the device at the box, puts it as close to the main ground as one can.
3. From about $100 up.

After looking around quite a bit and trying to understand the various specifications, I had my electrician install an APC PMP2X panel mount surge suppressor at the house breaker panel. It has one of the higher energy ratings at 2690 joules and 1ns surge response time, but still at a reasonably affordable price. There are other options, also, such as the Square D "Surgebreaker Plus" unit.

The power company would love to install one for you and charge you on a monthly basis in perpetuity.

Keep in mind that none of these are capable of diverting a direct lighting strike. Also, most of my reading recommended also using local surge protectors on computer and other electronic gear that would trigger at a lower surge level than the whole house unit will trigger.
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Check out the bryston website and look under products
go to TORUS,i believe they have what you are looking for
total isolation from the power grid,total protection and reserve power for power hungry amps.Really incredible units.
I've been researching this myself as I'm thinking of installing one. There are many brands available. Companies that make electrical panels often make these, eg. Cutler-Hammer, Siemens, Federal Pioneer, Square D, etc. One place you can find them is at your local Home Depot around the area where they stock electrical panels. Or they might be locked up at the front of the store near the cashiers with the circuit breakers. There's also usually some brochures on the models they have with some information about the level of protection. If you're handy and comfortable with electrical circuits, you can install it yourself, at least if it's one that's installed on the electrical panel, as opposed to one that's installed before the electrical panel. That would be a pro installation unless you're an electrician. The level of protection is typically a little bit better than a good quality surge supressor that you would put behind your equipment rack. The manufacturers often recommend that you have two levels of protection. Install the whole house surge supressor at the panel as the first level of protection, and then have a local surge supressor with whatever equipment you want to specifically provide a second level of protection to, like your stereo or computer. The whole house unit has the advantage of protecting a lot of electronics that you wouldn't normally buy a stand alone surge supressor for, like for the electrionic chips that might be in a refrigerator or microwave for example. The price seems to be about $300-$700, depending on the particular model. Different models have different levels of protection. The following link takes you to the page of one of the manufacturers. A Google search should easily find others. I'm familiar with installations at the panel, but not with ones that you might put before the panel.
I have one from our provider - Progress Energy -- $40 installed and $4.95 per month. They state the meter won't protect everything because, IMO, they want you to buy their secondary devices for sensitive electronics, etc. I have that covered in power devices for the equipment. For me, it's a peace of mind -- my neighbor had a direct hit to a pine tree in his yard a year or so ago -- lost one HVAC unit, all TV's & satellite receiver(s), a MW and just to show the power of mother nature, one corner spot light was "blown" from the mount on the corner of his house, 75 feet away.

Here is their FAQ/answer to your question:

Will the Meter-Based Surge Protector protect all my equipment?
No, not by itself. The meter-based device offers excellent protection for non-electronic equipment such as dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, non-microwave ovens, air conditioners and pool pump motors. While the meter-based device offers protection from powerful surges, a small portion of a surge can still pass through interior wiring, where it can damage sensitive electronics. For these sensitive electronics we offer our premium plug-in protectors which are up to six times stronger than some found in retail stores.
I've had one for about 6 years. Great protection against major surges. It will usually keep your smaller surge protectors from taking the "hit". However, whole house units are beefy and won't protect from the smaller problems. Also, even if lightning hits, the whole house unit won't trip until a little seepage gets through.
The $400 I spent has saved me from frying my PS Audio and Adcom units. However, they have had to save gear from time to time. I think it is great having it. Replacing a PS Audio Ultimate outlet or two is expensive and limited in warranty time. Also, getting PS Audio to replace gear that fried is extra hassles that no one wants to endure. Spend the $400 and avoid any cooked gear at all.