PORTLAND, OR -- Pacific Power is starting the process of converting all of its 590,000 meters at homes and businesses to Smart Meters. Tom Gaunt, with the utility, says it's an easy process, "They remove the old meter, put in the new one, they do a quick test to make sure it's working. And, if for some reason you're not home, they leave a door-hanger saying, 'if you notice your clocks are off, this is why'."
There's no cost to customers for the switch, and Gaunt says it allows people to track their own power usage daily or hourly, "A person could say, 'hmm; I did laundry that day.' You could really see the impact on your own account of what the laundry was." And, that could help you determine if an appliance is using too much power and whether a more efficient appliance would save money.
Smart Meters also allows Pacific Power to check it remotely without Meter Readers. And, Gaunt says it allows the company to respond faster to emergencies, "To determine whether there's an outage quicker, rather than relying on people reporting it."