It is VERY possible that he is completely unaware of much of the NEC.
Just an FYI: if the controls section of a condenser faces the building, the distance from the building must be 3' 6" according to NEC 110.26 A, with condition 2 in play.
The meter is property of the utility company, it is not utilization equipment which is covered by the NEC. Our local power company hands you a sheet when you pick up the meter base with some basic requirements like center line of the meter (not the base) is no less than 4' or more than 6' above finished grade level. They also send a rep out to approve the meter location before you set it. They mostly want to make sure it has easy and safe access for their meter readers. They don't want them to have to walk across sidewalks that might be iced over, be responsible for opening and closing gates, or battling overgrown landscaping, etc. Obviously meter location can have a substantial cost impact on the job. If you have to extend the service entrance any more than putting a conduit nipple out of the meter base through the exterior wall to the service panel, you have to install an outdoor weatherproof service disconnect which in addition to being expensive its ugly too. Our power company has been very good to work with in my experiences.