Avista announces plan to install smart meters in Spokane homes

(STORY IMAGE:KHQ.COM)

SPOKANE, Wash. -By 2022, Avista Utilities says 450,000 homes in the Spokane area will have smart meters.

The announcement for the $165 million plan to replace the old meters was made Monday.

“We believe it's time,” said Director of Electrical Engineering, Josh DiLuciano. “Avista is not the first to do this. About 60 percent of the meters in the United States are already changed out and that's about 76 million meters. So Avista is really ready to enable our customers to have more information available to them and allow us to be ready for the future around energy.

Avista will begin replacing 3,800 meters in Spokane’s University District this fall, then continue the rollout next spring.

Avista says smart meters will allow customers to have more timely information at their fingertips. That means customers can better manage their energy dollars.

Avista says you’ll be able to monitor your energy use on your smartphone.

“If something happens, you change your usage, it's hotter outside, someone comes over you have guests and your energy usage goes up. You really don't have insight as to what's going on until your bill shows up and all of a sudden it's too late to make a change,” said DiLuciano. “With this information at your fingertips, customers can log in and see what's going on and make changes 30 days before their bill shows up.”

Liberty Lake-based tech company, Itron, is making the smart meters.

Avista says the smart meters use code encryption to secure customers personal information.

Customers will not have an initial rate hike, but Avista says they will likely request rate increases in a couple of years to cover some of the cost. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission will have to approve any rate increase.

To learn more about the smart meters, CLICK HERE.

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