Opt Out Programs
On March 25, 2019 the Board of Commissioners voted to make revisions to the Residential Meter Policy, reducing the monthly opt-out fee, but creating two separate programs. Both programs’ costs are based on the actual costs incurred for the manual processes involved for PUD employees to manage these programs. The meter used for a customer who opts out of an advanced or remote-read meter will be a digital meter without the remote-read component. If requested, and available, the District will provide an electromechanical (analog) meter with a monthly upcharge (per meter) that covers the necessary periodic calibration and testing maintenance. For opt-out customers with multiple electric meters, or with both a PUD electric and water meter, the opt-out fee shall be assessed per service address, provided that the same account holder is named on all accounts. The opt-out fee(s) will be billed per the current Schedule of Deposits & Charges (costs are subject to change as the Schedule of Deposits and Charges changes). An access appointment fee may be assessed if the change request is occurring outside of regular route maintenance.
The PUD will read the meter every other month, estimating the months in between, and the customer will be charged a monthly opt-out fee. There is an monthly upcharge (per meter) if electromechanical (analog) is requested.
As an alternative to meter reads by the PUD, a “self-read” pilot project is now available that allows opt-out customers to read their own meters and report their utility consumption electronically to the District. A one-time configuration fee, monthly opt-out fee, and an additional deposit, based on credit, will be assessed for this option. The meter reading and reporting must occur during the last four days of each calendar month or the account will be assessed a failure to read and report fee and the opt-out program will revert to the PUD-read program. If requested, and available, the District will provide an electromechanical (analog) meter with a monthly upcharge (per meter) that covers the necessary periodic calibration and testing maintenance. Analog meters will require that the customer take a clear photograph of the meter reading and submit the reading via e-mail, to reduce the potential for error. If a customer notifies the PUD two weeks in advance of the four-day reporting window that they will be unable to provide a reading during the window, they may request the PUD read or estimate their bill for the PUD-read monthly charge. The self-read pilot project is available during the three-year period commencing on April 1, 2019. Within three months after the expiration of the pilot project, District staff will provide a final report to the District’s Board of Commissioners, who will decide whether to continue offering the self-read option. There is a one-time configuration and development fee and monthly upcharge (per meter) if electromechanical (analog) is requested. An additional account deposit, based on credit worthiness and an estimate of customer consumption (we anticipate the additional deposit amount will generally range between $150 to $700).
If at any time an opt-out customer disconnects their account or falls within any of the below exceptions, the PUD will return the service to a remote-read or advanced meter. The opt-out program shall be available to all customers except for the following:
- Customers who participate in services or optional rates that require advanced metering (e.g. Net Metering and Pre-Pay);
- Customers who are found to tamper with the meter or cut the meter seal;
- Customers who have poly-phase service or are served by a demand meter;
- Any field trip made to the location to disconnect for nonpayment;
- Locations enrolled in the Continuous Service program for landlords. Continuous service allows an account owned by a tenant to revert back into the landlord’s name in the event of a vacancy;
- Customers who violate the Facilities Access Policy.
No monthly fees will be assessed until your route is scheduled for the advanced meter upgrade unless your meter is currently on an existing fully automated remote-read route. The analog meter fee will be implemented immediately as that upcharge is to cover ongoing calibration and maintenance.
If you currently have an opt-out form on file with us and have reconsidered your options because you would like to take advantage of what advanced meters have to offer, such as more accurate bills, limited need for PUD to access your property, enhanced outage assessment and restoration, and reduced carbon footprint, you may submit a Remote-read or Advanced Meter Opt In Form to cancel your opt-out selection and receive a remote-read or advanced meter.