SALT LAKE CITY — Rocky Mountain Power is upgrading 260,000 meters in Utah and Idaho to new digital meters, also known as smart meters or advanced metering technology. The installations will roll out across the region throughout the remainder of 2021 with installations forecast to be complete in 2022. The new meters provide customers with timely information they need to make informed decisions about their electricity use and enables more efficient management of the power grid.
"This meter upgrade program is one of many steps we’re taking to build the power grid of the future," said Curtis Mansfield, Rocky Mountain Power senior vice president of power delivery. "By vastly improving our meter technology, we can deliver energy more reliably through real-time data, reduce costs and empower our customers to actively engage in how and when they use energy."
Customers will receive a letter up to a month in advance of the installation, followed by a phone call a week before an authorized contractor will be onsite. The upgrade can take as little as 30 minutes and typically results in a five-minute service interruption. Customers will have access to daily energy use information through a secure website about six weeks after the new meter is installed. This near-real-time energy use information will let customers better understand what is driving their electric bills and help them make decisions that can save energy and money.
Only a subset of 175,000 customers in Utah will receive a new digital meter during the initial installation phase. Rocky Mountain Power will continue to leverage the cost benefits of drive-by-meter reading technology, which was installed approximately 10 years ago across the company’s Utah service area. When the existing metering technology is combined with new digital meters as nodes, it allows customers to unlock far more benefits. The company estimates that the remaining 795,000 Utah customers will transition to a digital meter over the next 10 years.
The new meters will help hold down operating costs and improve customer service and reliability while maintaining the highest standards of security and customer privacy. Other benefits include:
The Institute for Electric Innovation estimates that 107 million smart meters were deployed by the end of 2020, covering 75 percent of households in the United States. The upgraded meters are a key component to updating the energy grid and can make it possible to adjust the flow of energy to meet specific needs, while supporting both rising technological demands and a clean energy future.
"We are connecting our communities throughout Utah and across our service area in a way that improves the reliability and efficiency of the grid, both at home and at work," said Mansfield. "With advanced metering technology now mature, proven and available at competitive prices, we can deliver the benefits while maintaining some of the lowest rates in the country."
Additional information is available at rockymountainpower.net/meterupgrade. Customers can also call 1-866-869-8520.