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Image of advanced meter against blue sky

These new advanced meters will deliver an array of added benefits for customers and are a significant step for the PUD as it becomes the “Utility of the Future.” For more on the benefits you’ll receive through Connect Up, click here.

Over the last few years, the PUD has worked to build much of the infrastructure needed to support Connect Up, including modernizing substations, deploying automated devices on its distribution system and extending communication technology to critical points across its service territory.

To view a tentative timeline of the Connect Up program, click here.

Stay connected with the Connect Up program

Click here to sign up for our Connect Up e-newsletter 

Connect Up Scam Alert

Unfortunately, scammers are using our Connect Up project to attempt to scam customers out of money. The PUD will never call or visit customers and ask for money for a new meter or the installation of a new meter. Also, do not purchase a meter for your home. Meters are PUD property and non-PUD electricians or workers should not exchange or perform maintenance on our meters. If you’ve been approached by a non-PUD employee about purchasing or exchanging your meter, please call us at 425-783-1000.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Connect Up program?

The Connect Up program is a multi-year infrastructure and technology improvement project. The new metering infrastructure and technology are key to enabling the PUD to better serve its customers/owners in the future. The benefits of the Connect Up Program include improved customer information and tools to better manage their account, more efficient outage restoration and improved reliability, improved rate designs to better meet customer needs and preferences, the ability to offer Distributed Energy Resources like solar power and on-site energy storage and demand-side management programs like new rate designs, and increased energy efficiency/conservation options and renewable energy integration.

What are the infrastructure upgrades associated with Connect Up?

Connect Up will build new infrastructure on its distribution system such as routers and collectors, and upgrade meters to meters that use two-way communication tools to transmit data from customers’ meters to the utility. These new meters will allow the PUD to collect energy usage data directly from customers rather than dispatch meter readers to read each meter.

When is Connect Up supposed to happen?

Since the project began in 2019, the PUD has worked on building its internal systems and processes in preparation for the change and building the infrastructure and network necessary to support the new meters. The project is now nearing the deployment stage. After a brief postponement of deployment due to supply-chain issues, the PUD plans to begin installing new meters in August 2023. The PUD’s Board of Commissioners approved the project in August 2020 and continues to receive regular project updates as well as provide the team with firm direction.

Is this technology being used by other utilities?

Yes. More than 50% of the utilities in the U.S. have installed this type of distribution system infrastructure and technology. In the Northwest, 85% of the utilities – including Seattle City Light, Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Power and Avista – have either installed these upgrades or are currently installing them. Costs of this infrastructure and technology has decreased in recent years.

What will this project look like for PUD customers?

The PUD plans to begin installing meters on customers’ homes and businesses in August 2023. During deployment, every PUD electric and water customer will have their electric and water meter upgraded from the old PUD meter to an advanced meter with communication capabilities. Once the meter is installed, PUD customers will be able to take advantage of a selection of benefits, with more benefits rolling out over time. Click here to read more on benefits.

What if I don’t want an advanced meter?

The PUD is committed to offering residential customers the ability to opt out of this program. Customers who opt out will not be able to access the many benefits that come with the PUD’s Connect Up program. Note: Customers who opt out will receive a new meter with the communication radio disabled.

Not all customers are eligible to opt out of Connect Up. Some examples of customers who are not eligible to opt-out include:

  • Customers who live in multi-unit residences with more than four units
  • PUD water customers
  • Commercial and industrial customers
  • Customers with net metering and/or temporary services
  • Customers who live on Hat Island

The PUD’s Board of Commissioners have approved two opt-out options:

  • Customer can have a PUD meter reader read their meter for a monthly fee of $25, or
  • Customer can submit a picture of their meter and perform a self-read each month for a monthly processing fee of $5 per meter

Customers can’t apply to opt out until they receive their first customer letter three to four months prior to their installation.

Is this new metering technology safe?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that no adverse health effects have been demonstrated to result from exposure to low-level radio frequency energy such as that produced by advanced meters. To further reduce concerns, advanced meters transmit RF energy only for short periods each day. They emit a low level of radio frequency energy that is both FCC-approved and lower than the level of RF energy emitted by many other devices that are used daily by millions of people.

Click here to learn more about the safety of advanced meters.

Answers by Mr. Richard Tell, RF expert, to Commission questions (click to view)

How is the PUD planning to pay for this project?

The Connect Up project is projected to have a positive financial return over the life of the project. The PUD has been in a sound fiscal position for several years and is primarily financing the project through bond issuance to take advantage of low-interest rates. The PUD has no plans to raise rates to pay for Connect Up.

If the program has a positive return on investment, what will happen to that money?

The PUD is a customer-owned utility and not-for-profit organization. That means all revenue earned or saved by the PUD through higher efficiencies or innovative programs goes back into operations, improving safety, reliability and affordability. Connect Up’s positive return on investment, which is scheduled to be realized over 20 years through decreased equipment costs and increased operational efficiencies, will result in delayed possible rate increases in the future and allow customers to take advantage of lower rate options.

How is the PUD protecting my data?

Meter data will be transmitted from the meter to the PUD using data encryption over a secure network. Personal Identifiable Information (name, address and account number) is not stored in the meter and will not be transmitted over the meter network. For more, click here.

We’d like to hear from you!

The PUD’s Board of Commissioners approved the Connect Up program on Aug. 4, 2020. The Board continues to receive regular updates and provide the Connect Up team with direction as the project moves forward. Have questions or comments about Connect Up? Click the button below:

Email your question to the PUD

New Meter Benefits

Learn how advanced meters will allow you to take control of your energy usage and more.
Check them out >

Connect Up Business

Find out how Connect Up is giving business owners more information on their energy usage to help them with the bottom line.
Learn more >

Connect Up Water

The PUD is also exchanging more than 23,000 water meters with advanced water meters.
Learn more >