Replacing electric meters with advanced, two-way digital meters offers multiple benefits. It will help us get your lights on faster after an outage, and give you information to help you make decisions about your power use.
In December 2017, PUD commissioners authorized staff to move forward with advanced, two-way metering as a preferred alternative for future customer meters and as part of a new customer technology program. Commissioners reviewed extensive outreach (including 18 community meetings) and research done since 2005. We're developing an “opt-out” policy in response to customer requests.
- Faster and more accurate outage notification and faster service restoration
- Faster response on billing questions
- Ability to manage a PUD account from anywhere
- More accurate billing and fewer estimated bills
- Less need for a PUD employee to enter customer property
- Easier energy use management
- Help to decide if a conservation program will save money
During our community meetings, some questions and concerns have centered around radio frequency (RF), electro-magnetic fields (EMF), and the potential these energy fields have to cause cancer or other health impacts. Learn more
We are committed to providing our customer-owners with industry-leading service and reliability. We want to give you the tools to manage your own energy use, as well as being notified about outages or upcoming system repairs – all through technology.
We are researching advanced meters and talking with our customer-owners about the new digital meters. Our goal is to upgrade your meter and provide you with your own self-service “dashboard” capability to manage your account, just as you do with many of your other online accounts.
Advanced, two-way digital metering is a safe and proven technology that is widely used across the US. More than half the utilities in the country are already using this technology.
AMI is a building block for a more efficient electric system, often called the smart grid. It will provide many benefits to customers and greatly improve operational efficiencies. The meters will:
- Empower you to make energy-saving choices
- Improve customer service and outage response
- Help you and the PUD save money
How Does Advanced Metering Work?
Advanced, two-way digital meters will connect homes and businesses to the PUD and will collect customer meter reads automatically. This means that:
- Advanced digital meters record customer energy-use information throughout the day, just as today’s meters do.
- Customer energy-use information is sent several times a day to us, using radio frequency (RF) waves. This is similar to the wireless communications used by cell phones and WiFi. The meters will transmit data for a maximum of 90 seconds per day.
- Once it’s within our secure firewall, the information will be matched up with customer accounts for billing and other customer service activities.
- Similar to your existing electric meter, the new digital meter is installed on the outside of your home or business.
- Actual data transmission using RF occurs in milliseconds or less than one minute per day.
- Many of your existing appliances and mobile devices, such as microwaves and cell phones, transmit far higher RF levels and often are much closer to you than a digital meter.