In fact, meter readers themselves will be passe’ thanks to automated meters which will be installed throughout Southwest Idaho over the next three years. The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has directed the electrical utility to install the meters at an estimated cost of $71 million.
Rates will get adjusted to cover the investment of course, but the neat thing is that anyone with a computer will be able to monitor their power usage over the internet on a daily basis. They can see a bar graph showing high consumption times, increases due to the clothes dryer or savings from cutting the use of air conditioning and other products.
Using the existing electrical connection to your house, the company will be able to remotely switch the power off/on with no telephone, cable or radio connection. Folks in McCall and Emmett are already outfitted with the automated meters.
The PUC said in a statement, “the potential benefits of advanced metering to ratepayers and the company are too great to delay implementation.”
While the company will be able to instantly turn on the power to new customers, they will also be able to turn it off just as easily when people fail to pay their bills.
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