Driving Change with New AMI Meters
Jefferson County PUD’s meter replacement project is underway, with more than 1,500 new AMI meters installed to date.
AMI meters offer the PUD a number of advantages, including reducing carbon emissions. How? Currently all PUD meters are read by driving trucks around the county constantly to pick up the meter reads.
New AMI meters send electric usage data to the Cloud via a radio signal. No driving required.
Well, almost no driving.
PUD meter staff will still need to drive out if there are problems with a meter, or if a customer chooses to opt-out of having a broadcasting meter. Opt-out, non-broadcasting meters, require a monthly visit to the service address by PUD meter reader staff.
Recently, the PUD contemplated a whole lot more driving, as its longtime contract for meter reading services was set to expire in February of 2023. You might be thinking, “Wait, the PUD contracts for meter reading services? I thought the PUD reads its own meters…”
Yes and no.
PUD staff reads approximately one-third of its meters. The other two-third have been read by contractors the PUD inherited from its purchase of the electric grid from PSE way back in 2013. Contractor meter reads cost the PUD around $350,000 a year, a cost that will go away once all the new AMI meters are installed.
The PUDs General Manager examined the possibility of not extending the contract into 2023 and 2024 and explained to the Board of Commissioners during a special meeting on Jan. 9, that it would require hiring three additional meter readers and purchasing multiple trucks.
Streett is currently working to extend the contract up to another 24 months and instead hire additional meter staff to speed up the PUD’s replacement effort. Replacement of all the nearly 21,000 electrical meters was originally expected to continue through 2024, but with additional meter reader staff the PUD anticipates completion in early-2024.
New meter reader positions are entry level, full-time, and provide the ability to lateral to various utility departments once AMI rollout is complete. View open Meter Reader positions here.
To learn more about the PUDs meter replacement program, please visit our metering page here.
Below is a video with a full overview of the meter replacement process.