Seattle City Light to Launch Smart Meter Initiative

smart meters

In June 2014, the Seattle City Council approved a strategic plan by Seattle City Light that includes an advanced metering initiative. Advanced metering is expected to cut operating costs for the public electric utility while helping to provide better service and more accurate metering for commercial and residential utility customers.

The initiative, which is slated to go online at the end of 2017, will replace analog meters with smart meters that measure and transmit customers’ energy usage directly to the utility so that customers’ bills are based on actual usage, not estimated usage by meter readers.

What Are the Benefits of Advanced Metering?

The benefits of advanced metering are as follows:

  • The electric utility will immediately know when there is a power outage rather than depending on customers to call in and report outages. With advanced metering, the meters affected by the outage alert the utility’s system control center the moment an outage occurs. This helps the utility identify the location of the outage more quickly so crews can be dispatched to restore power in a timelier manner.
  • Advanced metering will give electric customers more information about their electrical usage by time of day and how much is used. While previous bills only show a customer’s electric consumption with no additional information, the new metering system will give customers the option to see their energy use in real-time, which might clue them in to sudden problems in their electrical system that are causing unusually high electric bills.
  • Advanced metering eliminates the possibility of manual meter reader mistakes and helps ensure meters are read and billed correctly each time.
  • Advanced metering will get more Seattle City Light vehicles off the road as meter readers are reassigned to other positions at the utility, leading to less overall pollution.


Armed with better information about their electric usage, commercial electric customers should have a better ability to detect electrical problems that might need to be addressed by an experienced commercial electrician. When those problems occur, Kirby Electric will be available to help troubleshoot and fix the problems.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric is a premier Seattle electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical contracting. As your local commercial electrician, we can help with any electrical needs when it comes to upgrading older buildings, including equipment hook ups, rewiring or relocating panels, and lighting upgrades. We also work with electrical companies like Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Public Utilities, Lakeview Power and others that will provide a rebate for upgrading to a more efficient lighting upon approval of the project. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to get a quote.

(Image via PG&E)