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The Columbia Press

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Smart meter installation begins this month

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Smart meters that can alert the power company when there’s an outage will be installed throughout Clatsop County beginning this month.

About 24,000 new meters will go in in Warrenton, Hammond, Astoria, Gearhart, Seaside, Cannon Beach and Arch Cape.

The project is part of a statewide rollout of 590,000 smart meters by Pacific Power. North County installations begin Feb. 11 and the utility progressively will move south until all are completed by May.

“We’re installing smart meters here in Clatsop County as part of an upgrade for the homes and businesses we serve,” said Alisa Dunlap, Pacific Power’s regional business manager for Clatsop County. “Nearly two-thirds of our customers in Oregon are already enjoying the benefits of a smart meter, and we look forward to bringing this technology now to the North Coast.”

Pacific Power’s authorized installer, Aclara, will arrive between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to make installations. Installers will drive vehicles and carry badges that identify them as an authorized contractor of Pacific Power.

Unless an electric meter is inside, they will not need to enter customer homes or businesses. There is no charge for the installation or the meter.

During the installation, Pacific Power technicians will remove the old meter, install the new meter, restore service and verify the new meter is working properly. The process requires a brief power outage (less than five minutes).

The technicians will leave a door hanger to let customers know they were there, and successfully installed the new smart meter.

The meters will instantly track outages, meaning faster service response and shorter outages overall; allow customers to view their power usage hour-by-hour; provide businesses with detailed usage reporting that can help them cut costs; and update the power grid to work more efficiently and better integrate renewable power sources.

Nationwide, more than 70 million smart meters are installed at homes and businesses.

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