Energy meters are changing across Seattle, and it’s for the best. Starting yesterday, new, advanced meters will end manual meter readings, and you will be able to check your energy usage online. Regardless of whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, this is good news!
The Old Method
Since the 1950s, Seattle City Light has checked your home’s energy use by sending employees to manually read your meter. This led to some problems last winter—very expensive problems for some homes. Those bills came as a surprise, and put some families in financial trouble.
The New Method
The new meters will be equipped with radio transmitters, eliminating the need for meter-reading visits from city employees. The city will replace about 420,000 meters in the next year and a half, with a target end-date of December 2018. The program will cost the city $84 million, and another $10 million will connect those new meters to the city’s network. That second feature will let Seattleites check their energy usage online, any time they want. No more surprise bills. You’ll also be able to see how much energy you used on certain days, and even times of day. Talk about improvement.
If anyone doesn’t want the new meters, though, you can opt-out and keep your old meter.