You won’t have Seattle City Light coming to your house to check your meter anymore after its new update; soon, you should be able to check your energy usage online.
Many of Seattle City Light’s current electric meters have been measuring citizens’ energy usage since the 1950s. Beginning July 31, new advanced meters with radio transmitters will replace them, eliminating the need for meter-reading visits from city employees.
City Light uses meters to track energy usage in residents’ homes and generate monthly bills. The city will be replacing about 420,000 meters in the next year and a half, hoping to finish by December 2018, according to City Light spokesman Scott Thomsen. The program will cost the city $84 million.
An additional $10 million will connect the new meters to the city’s network, which means Seattleites themselves could go online to check their energy usage before they get their bill. That also means customers could go back and see how much energy they used on certain days, and even times of day.
“It gives you (the customer) the opportunity to avoid surprises when the bill comes through,” Thomsen said. “It can help sort out where those changes are coming from.”
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Most of the city’s 51 meter-readers will be laid off or moved into other positions at the city. A few of them will stay on, reading the meters of Seattleites who opt out of the program for any reason.