Intermountain Rural Electric Association will resume installation of new electric meters to residential and commercial customers throughout its service territory beginning the week of March 30.
Installations were temporarily halted over the past week as IREA and its installation vendor, Utility Sales & Service (US&S), developed protocols to ensure installation could continue in a manner that ensures maximum safety of customers and employees during the outbreak of Coronavirus/COVID-19. IREA had replaced more than half of its 163,000-plus electric meters when the outbreak reached Colorado.
Both IREA and US&S want to keep meter technicians employed and working during this time while also ensuring work can safely be done. The system-wide meter replacement project, which began in January 2019, will improve IREA’s metering infrastructure and provide lasting benefits. Paramount among them is IREA’s ability to more quickly respond to outages and restore service.
“This metering system is important for the overall health of our electric distribution grid, but nothing is more important than the health and safety of our customers and employees,” said IREA Public Affairs Director Josh Liss. “Safety is the priority while our meter technicians continue to earn a living and improve our system so we can continue to keep the lights on for our customers working at home.”
Customers receiving new meters were previously sent mailed postcards informing them installation would occur within several weeks. Many installations took place while customers were away at work and caused little to no inconvenience. With more people now at their homes during the day, additional notification is necessary so customers are not surprised when a meter technician shows up to replace the meter.
Customers scheduled for new meters will continue to receive postcards in the mail, but will now also receive automated phone calls informing them installation will take place within days. When a meter technician arrives, they will knock on the customer’s door and back away 10 feet to talk to the customer. Each technician will have an IREA-provided badge clearly visible to the customer. The technician will not need to access the inside of the customer’s home to replace the meter. There is no charge for the new meter; technicians will not request payment from customers. Customers can call (866) 960-8746 if they have questions or would like to schedule installation for a different day.