MEDFORD, Ore. — Pacific Power announced on Thursday the beginning of their widespread conversion to 'smart readers' for power customers all over Jackson County. Installations will begin the week of June 25 and continue through September.
According to the electric company, the new meters will phase out meter reader visits at home meters by allowing both Pacific Power and their customers to track power usage remotely and in real-time—allowing for customers to "adjust their activity to reduce both their carbon footprint and bill," Pacific Power said.
Pacific Power promises that installation of the new smart readers will be free, and they may actually help customers save money. However, as NewsWatch 12 previously reported, opting out of the smart reader (though possible) could cost you.
Installation of the new meters will be carried out by a contractor—personnel from Pacific Power's "authorized installer," Aclara. Specific customers will receive mail and calls notifying them of the date of the installation, and then a technician will arrive on that day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The contracted technicians will be driving vehicles and carrying badges that identify them as authorized contractors of Pacific Power, the company said. They'll remove the old meter, install the new one, and ensure that it is working properly—which will involve a power outage of less than five minutes.
Technicians will leave a door hanger to let the customers know that they were there. Six weeks later, customers will be able to access their usage data online with their Pacific Power account.
About 88,000 new meters will be installed in communities throughout Jackson County, Pacific Power said. Throughout Oregon, 590,000 meters will be installed by Fall of 2019—with Josephine County slated for this coming Fall.
“This free upgrade brings a future of reliable and efficient power to our region and to our state,“ said Christina Kruger, Pacific Power’s regional business manager for Southern Oregon. “We are connecting communities throughout Oregon, improving the way we power our customers’ lives both at home and at work.”