Tacoma Public Utilities is upgrading all existing electric and water meters in our service area and replacing them with new advanced meters. Advanced meters are a safe, secure, and cost-effective technology used in more than 75 million households nationwide. By installing this transformative technology, we can offer our customers monthly billing, more accurate billing, and access to power and water usage data. Advanced meters allow us to identify power outages more quickly, detect water leaks, provide more efficient move-in and move-out services, and remotely connect/disconnect electric service.
Many of the power and water meters in our current system use technology that hasn’t changed much over the last 75 years and use parts we cannot replace. These meters are past the end of their lifespan and need updating to provide reliable service. By replacing our aging meters with modern digital technology, we can also make our operations more efficient and help reduce carbon emissions by having fewer vehicle miles traveled for meter reading and basic field services.
Customers can view an upgrade map and see estimated date ranges for neighborhoods. We will continue adding to the map as we move through installation areas. If you don’t see your area highlighted, be sure to check back regularly.
Installation only takes a few minutes. Our installers will attempt to contact you in person or over the phone at the time of the meter replacement. They will carry an ID badge and wear protective gear to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Whether you are home or not, the installer will leave behind a notice indicating whether the upgrade was successful or request that you call if unable to replace your meter. The installer will place the information on your door with gloved hands.
In advance of this large-scale implementation, we completed a successful trial deployment, installing 340 meters at 230 residential homes and commercial customer locations. This trial was a real-world validation of the end-to-end processes, ensuring successful collection of power and water usage data and accurate billing.
In total, we plan to update 180,000 electric and 107,000 water meters over the next 18-24 months. For further details on the mass installation of advanced meters, customers can find information and videos on this FAQ page.
What customers can expect next
All customers will receive an installation notice in advance of the upgrade:
- Residential and small business customers will receive multiple notices by mail and two autodial messages from the meter installation vendor seven and two days before their meter upgrade.
- Large commercial and industrial customers will receive one notification 60 days before the scheduled upgrade, followed by a phone call from the meter shop to schedule the upgrade if an interruption of service is required.
- Customers can also view an Upgrade Map and see estimated date ranges for Tacoma neighborhoods. We will continue adding to the map as we move through installation areas. If you don’t see your area highlighted, be sure to check back regularly.