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PUD installing new meters


Grant County Public Utility District has been installing new “advanced” meters in homes and businesses, a move the utility says will save $35.6 million by 2029.

If you see someone on your property, doing something with your electricity meter, it should just be someone working for Grant PUD installing new technology capable of transmitting electricity usage data remotely, negating the necessity for a meter reader to stop by on a monthly basis.

Chuck Allen, public affairs officer with Grant PUD, made a presentation about the new meters at the Grand Coulee City Council meeting April 17.

The PUD is mailing out postcards to inform people about the installations. The installers will also knock on residents’ doors to inform them as to why they are there.

The installation only takes a couple of minutes, Allen explained, but does disrupt power to the building, so people may have to reset clocks after installation.

The Advanced Metering Program is installing about 49,000 meters countywide, a $14.9 million dollar investment paid over three years that will have paid for itself in savings six years after the 2019 completion date. There will be an estimated cumulative savings for the PUD of $35.6 million by 2029.

Allen explained that some meter readers are retiring and won’t need to be replaced, while others will take on new duties within the PUD.

The majority of the savings will come from not needing to have meter readers, as well as not having to fuel nor maintain a fleet of vehicles for the meter readers.

On rare occasions, Grant PUD employees may need to access the meters for general maintenance, Allen said.

The meters will collect energy usage data from homes every 15 minutes, and once per day send that data to the PUD through a radio network.

Another advantage the new meters have is that the PUD will now be able to tell if there is a power outage somewhere without someone needing to call, giving a faster response time to outages. This advantage won't be in effect until the completion of the advanced metering system, and so persons experiencing outages should report them to the PUD in the meantime.


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