Why is PPL Electric Utilities installing new electric meters?
There are several reasons, all of which involve better service for our customers:
- The new meters will enable new energy-saving technologies and will make our electric system more reliable.
- Our current electric meters are reaching the end of their useful life and we want to be proactive in replacing them.
- Technology has changed significantly since our current meters were installed.
- The new meters will bring us into full compliance with state-mandated regulations on electric meter technology.
How will the new system help customers save energy?
The new metering system will help customers make wise energy decisions. It will give customers access to pricing and electric use information to manage their energy usage more efficiently and save money on their electric bills.
How will the new meters improve electric system reliability?
The new meters can report power outages automatically. This will mean that PPL Electric Utilities will be able to dispatch repair crews more quickly to restore power.
When will the new meters be installed?
The new meters are expected to be installed between late 2016 and 2019.
What is the cost of this project?
We estimate that the cost will be about $450 million to install about 1.4 million electric meters and to design and install all of the related support equipment and computer systems.
How will customers be charged for the upgraded meter system?
Customers would pay for the new meters over time, through a monthly charge on their electric bills. The charges will be phased in starting in 2015, increase during the installation period, then decline. The average residential customer will pay about $2.25 per month over the time the meters are in service.
Will the new meters improve the way PPL Electric Utilities starts and stops electric service, such as when customers move?
Yes. Currently, the company has to send a service person to visit a home or business to physically connect or disconnect the meter. Under the new system, we can complete service requests remotely, meaning that these starts and stops will be faster and more convenient for customers.
What’s the difference between the current meters and the new ones?
Our current meters use PPL Electric Utilities power lines to communicate meter reading information to our billing system. Most of the existing meters are dial meters with a spinning disk. We’ll now be using electronic digital meters equipped with wireless communication technology. The new meters will communicate data to PPL Electric Utilities through this radio signal system.
Should I be concerned about the privacy of my information with these new meters?
No. As we always have done, we will carefully protect our customers’ information, consistent with all regulatory requirements. All data transmitted by the meters will be encrypted and protected by PPL Electric Utilities. The new meter system will have multiple layers of safeguards designed to keep your electricity usage data private.
Some people have expressed health concerns related to this type of meter. Is that an issue?
Many government agencies, regulatory agencies and health organizations have studied the issue, and none has found any health risks caused by the use of this type of meter in homes and businesses.