Tacoma Public Utilities launched a project in 2017 to upgrade our power and water meters and communications technology. It will take about four years to fully complete the project – which includes planning, engineering, technology upgrades and construction, and deployment of the meters.
The project will build TPU's advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) capabilities to provide our customers with more timely data access about their power and water use and improve operational efficiencies for the utility.
Advanced meters are communications devices that automatically and securely transmit meter data to a utility's service and billing center, eliminating the need for manual meter reading and enabling more frequent and detailed usage information for customers.
When deployed, the upgrade to advanced meters offers many benefits, including improved customer service, a monthly billing option, more accurate data to help customer manage their usage, faster response times for power outages and water leaks, reduced environmental impact, and lower meter-readings costs.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 65 million electric meters throughout the United States were upgraded to advanced meters as of 2015, and that number has continued to grow as more utilities and their customers recognize the cost-saving benefits of investing in what is now considered a mature technology in the industry.
TPU’s proposed meter upgrades schedule anticipates the project will take several years to complete.