Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Pacific Power rolls out smart meters in Jackson

Steve Rogerson
June 6, 2018

Oregon utility Pacific Power is bringing more efficient and effective smart meters to residents and businesses of Jackson County, replacing thousands of aging electric meters throughout the summer months.
About 88,000 meters will be installed in Butte Falls, Central Point, Eagle Point, Gold Hill, Jacksonville, Medford, Phoenix, Rogue River, Shady Cove and Talent. The installations are set to begin this month and will continue in the area until the end of September. In all, Pacific Power will replace 590,000 meters in communities across the state from now until autumn 2019. Installations in nearby Josephine County are scheduled to follow Jackson County this autumn.
“We’re installing smart meters here in the Rogue Valley as part of a statewide upgrade for the homes and businesses we serve,” said Christina Kruger, Pacific Power’s regional business manager for southern Oregon. “It’s a project that will enable the communities we serve to take advantage of faster, more efficient energy technology.”
The smart meters will instantly track outages, meaning faster service response and shorter outages overall. They let users view their power usage hour-by-hour, so they can adjust their activity to reduce both their carbon footprint and bill.
Business can be provided with detailed usage reporting that will help them cut costs and make investments in items that help their businesses grow.
The installation also involves an upgrade to the grid so it works more efficiently and better integrates renewable power sources.
Nationwide, more than 70 million smart meters are installed at homes and businesses, which includes half of all households in the USA. Smart meters are a key component to updating the energy grid originally built for technology from 100 years ago. They should also help Pacific Power hold down operating costs, improve customer service and reliability while maintaining standards of security and customer privacy.
“This free upgrade brings a future of reliable and efficient power to our region and to our state,” said Kruger. “We are connecting communities throughout Oregon, improving the way we power our customers’ lives both at home and at work.”
Access to daily energy usage information will be available via a secure web site. The near real-time energy usage information will let users better understand what is driving their electric bills and help them make decisions that can save energy and money. This capability will come about six weeks after a new meter is installed.
Pacific Power’s authorised installer Aclara will carry out the deployment.
During the installation, technicians will remove the old meter, install the new meter, restore service and verify the meter is working properly. Pacific Power will manually read the newly installed smart meters for at least one month to confirm everything is working correctly. After confirmation activities are complete in the area, meter reading will happen remotely.