Citing supply chain issues, PUD delays installation of smart meters in homes, businesses

Due to supply chain and manufacturing issues, Snohomish County PUD said Monday it is delaying the deployment of its smart meter program until mid-2023.

The program, known as Connect Up, will install new electric and water advanced meters on all customers’ homes and businesses.

The PUD was originally scheduled to begin deployment of new meters at the start of 2023. Depending on when it receives meters from its meter provider, the PUD said Monda it plans to delay deployment of residential meters until the summer of 2023 and commercial and industrial meters until later in the fall of 2023.

Installation of advanced meters on the homes of PUD water customers should still begin in early 2023.

The new meter upgrade is free of charge for customers, who will receive physical and digital communications from the PUD leading up to installation.

Installation of the communication network that will support the new meters started earlier this year and is on schedule to be completed prior to meter deployment, the utility said. The PUD has installed 43 of the 141 base stations and antennas that will eventually communicate with advanced meters on customers’ homes and businesses.

The PUD’s Board of Commissioners also recently approved the Connect Up program’s opt-out policy. Customers who do not want a communicating meter will receive an advanced meter with the communication radio disabled.

PUD customers who live in multi-unit residences with more than four units, water customers and commercial and industrial customers are not eligible to opt out of the PUD’s Connect Up program, the utility said.

Eligible customers must be approved to opt out of the PUD’s Connect Up program. They can apply to opt out when they receive a written notice approximately 90 days prior to installation.

Customers who opt out will be charged $25 per month for the first opt-out meter and an additional $5 per month for each opt-out meter on the same premise. The monthly charge will cover costs associated with physical meter reads, including labor, fuel and transportation. Customers will have the option to submit a picture of their meter and perform a self-read at a monthly cost of $5 per meter.

The PUD said the new program will deliver a variety of new benefits for its customers, including the ability to monitor energy usage in 15-minute increments, opportunities to take advantage of new rate designs and conservation programs, and more flexible billing options.

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