Meter Replacement Project

Meter Replacement Project

The PUD's Meter Replacement Project is Underway!

The PUD’s current meters are no longer manufactured or supported, and it is necessary that we change out all of our electric meters.  When your meter is replaced, it will be the same digital style meter you currently have, only from a different manufacturer. The meter will use a similar technology consistent with what is used today. Your usage information is sent over the powerlines using a powerline communication system, not radio frequency (RF). 

Meter replacements will begin in the summer of 2024 and continue until all are replaced.  The PUD anticipates this will likely take through the end of 2026 and possibly into 2027. 

Please utilize the below list of topics to find out more.

Here's what you can expect when it's time to replace your meter:

  • You'll receive a notification postcard approximately two (2) weeks before the PUD plans to begin meter replacement work in your area.  
  • On the day of the meter replacement, a PUD employee will knock on your door before starting any work.  
  • You don’t need to be home for us to install your new meter as long as we have safe and clear access to your existing meter.  
  • In most cases, the work will be completed in about 10 minutes or less.  
  • During this time, there will be a short interruption to your electric service.
  • We will leave a door hanger indicating we were able to successfully replace your meter. 
  • It's as easy as that!  You'll likely see us move on to your neighbor's house to repeat the process.
  • Work in your area may take several weeks to complete once started.

The below outlines some of the customer-facing benefits of the new advanced meters once installed.

Billing/Account Related

  • The near elimination of estimated meter reads.
  • Consistent billing periods, since meter reads are obtained on weekends and holidays.
  • Usage data is recorded every 15-minutes which gives us the ability to help our customers troubleshoot high-bill problems by providing information about power consumption patterns.
  • Enhanced use of SmartHub allowing customers to: 
    • access daily and monthly electric usage data using an app or via the web;
    • monitor consumption; and
    • improve energy management.
  • Sometime in the future the PUD will be able to offer customers the option to enroll in a Pre-Pay Program, which eliminates account deposits and fees.

Outage Related

  • The ability to pinpoint the exact location of outages quickly, resulting in a faster response time.  
  • Fewer inconveniences to customers and lower outage costs.
  • Less chance to miss a customer during outage restoration efforts. 

Equipment & Process Improvements

  • Timely processing of customer-requested service starts and stops using actual meter reads from the start/stop date.
  • Real-time service disconnects and reconnects using remote disconnect meters.
  • Increased meter accuracy, as advanced meters are designed by the manufacturer to be within a +/- 0.2% accuracy in comparison to the old electromechanical meters which had an accuracy range of +/- 2.0%.
  • Improved customer privacy due to the reduced need for PUD staff to access customer property.

The below outlines some of the operational efficiencies to the PUD of the new advanced meters once installed.

  • Improved automatic outage detection enabling a more proactive dispatch of crews and faster restoration.
  • Enhanced employee safety.
  • Energy theft protection.
  • Higher level of automated electrical distribution system operations (enhanced SCADA, automated meter alarms).
  • Improved electrical system planning and analysis through the use of meter interval data, coupled with a meter data management system.

The below outlines a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Meter Replacement Project

What kind of meter do I currently have?

The majority of PUD customers currently have a digital style meter equipped with an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) device. These meters are TS1 meters and are more commonly known as “turtles”.  The AMR sends the meter usage data over the power lines. AMR has one-way communication.    

Why is the PUD replacing its meters?

The PUD’s current meters are no longer manufactured or supported.  Most meters in the PUD’s service territory are at the end of their useful life. The AMR devices that send usage data to the PUD for billing purposes are rapidly failing resulting in the need for PUD staff to manually read meters on a routine basis.

When will the PUD be replacing the meters?

Meter replacements will begin in the summer of 2024 and continue until all are replaced.  The PUD anticipates this will likely take through the end of 2026 and possibly into 2027. The project is being staged over the course of the next three years given meter availability and supply chain constraints.  

The PUD will send out notification postcards approximately two (2) weeks before the PUD plans to begin meter replacement work in your area.  Work in your area may take several weeks to complete once started. 

Who will be performing the meter exchange?

The PUD is currently utilizing its in-house personnel and crews to perform the meter replacements.  

What meters are being installed?

The PUD is installing Aclara meters with TWACS (Two-Way Automatic Communication System) technology, which has a power-line communication system like our current meters.  The biggest difference in technology being the two-way communication component compared to one-way communication. 

What communication methods do other meters have?

Metering systems employ a wide array of communication technologies including radio frequency (RF), broadband, cellular networks, and power line carrier (PLC).  Meter usage data is sent to a collector in the substation using one of these technologies.   The newly installed PUD meters will use PLC technology, the same technology that is used today.   

Is the new meter a “Smart Meter”?

The new meter is part of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system, which is commonly referred to as a “Smart Meter”.   AMI is a two-way communication system which collects metering information.   As discussed above, communication can be via several different methods (RF, broadband, cellular, or PLC).   PUD meters use power line carrier (PLC) technology.  

In addition to the data your current meter already provides, the new Aclara TWACS meters will allow the PUD to detect outages and remotely connect and disconnect the meter. The meters do not have the capability to track and record individual appliance usage, but rather the meter records whole-house usage, same as your existing meter.

Is my bill going to go up after the new meter is installed?

Old meters never run fast, they tend to slow down over time.  It is possible that you could see a rise in your billed kilowatt hour (kWh) usage if your old meter was under reporting due to its age.   

Please feel free to reach out to us at 509-447-3137 or via email at if you have any questions or concerns.