BEND, OR -- Pacific Power crews are starting to replace more than 76,000 meters on Central Oregon homes and businesses with more efficient and effective smart meters. Regional Business Manager Matt Chancellor says the technology isn't new; but it's an improvement over current meters, which are based on 100-year-old technology, "One of the benefits of smart meters is our customers can now set alerts for their usage, and that will help them manage their budget, and they can get messages when they hit certain usage levels, and that will allow them to conserve their energy and turn something on or off."
Chancellor says Pacific Power is installing the meters as part of a regional commitment to cleaner energy, "Our customers are going to be empowered to make better decisions on energy usage, and that's fully aligned with the City of Bend's resolution on carbon reduction. So it's really important that we have smart meters here in Central Oregon." The utility installed a smart meter on Bend's City Hall on Wednesday. City Manager Eric King told KBND News it fits well with the city's goal to use infrastructure in a smart way, "The city has an energy efficiency plan. We've got a Council resolution that was passed a few years ago that really forces us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and so energy efficiency is a part of that; Smart meters are a part of that."
Chancellor says Central Oregon meters should all be switched out by fall. He says the impact on customers should be minimal, "We will knock on the door when we arrive and it will be less than five minutes of an outage to replace it. And then we will leave a door hangar, letting our customers know that it's completed." The project is part of a statewide rollout of 590,000 smart meters that began in January 2018.