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All About Energy

3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Installing a New Meter

Eli Sachs Apr 27, 2017 10:55:45 AM
Eli Sachs
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Electricity meter

When you build a new facility, your local utility will install an electricity meter and deliver the power, but your energy provider supply the electricity. With so many parties involved, it's easy to loose track of the meter, and it could cost you. Energy meter installation often causes construction and/or move-ins delays. Then, once a meter is up and running, your energy provider could put you on a high or variable electricity rate. Here are some pitfalls to avoid when adding a new meter.

 

3 Things that cause meter installation delays

Depending on where you are in the country, there are different processes for installing a meter. No matter what the process your local utility uses, communication is key. It's vital to make sure you and your energy supplier are on the same page since mistakes are easy to make, but hard to undo when. In general, delays are mostly caused by:
  • Miscommunication or lack thereof over inspections and permits between the TDU/Utility and the City or County for inspections is a common issue, especially if the information doesn't make it to the correct department. To avoid delays,make sure your electrician facilitates communication to ensure the necessary meter installation pre-work finishes on time.

  • City permits are sometimes mislabeled or have incorrect the address(es). Be sure to check the permit sent over to the utility and make any corrections immediately to avoid delays.

  • Move-In orders, a lot of the time, aren't ready or are postponed because they are expired. Move-In Orders must be ready once the TDU/Utility receives the permit for the meter installations. If the orders are over 20 days old or not requested by the provider, it can result in delays lasting up to a week when coordinating with your utility's technicians.

 

New meter electricity rates

In deregulated areas, once the meter is installed and power is turned on, your electricity supplier will put the meter on an electricity rate. 

 

Texas

Despite having deregulated more than a decade ago, very few electricity suppliers in Texas offer builders energy products that make sense for new meters. Most of the time, suppliers put new meters on a high-cost residential rate, charge a running monthly meter fee, and often tack on a transition fee when the builder transfers the meter to the new building owner.

 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Typically, builders reach out to the local utility and give the ISO pertinent information on what the building will be used for and when construction will start. There is usually a fully-refundable deposit that needs to be posted. This will determine what type of electric service is required for the location from residential to High-Tension.

 

Overall, it's important to take energy analysis into consideration from the beginning of a project. Many times, a new meter, especially if it is a temporary meter, is placed on a high-cost variable rate exposing the meter owner to heightened risk. Due to the fact that  these temporary meters are replaced after construction is complete, many builders and construction companies see the heightened rates as just a cost of doing business.


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Topics: Electricity