Meter Standards

Current Standards for Meter Installation

Attention: 400 Amp (sometimes marketed as 320 Amp) meter bases made by Midwest Electric Products are no longer allowed in our PenLight territory.

New meter installations must now be underground. Please carefully consult our guidelines and standards (found at our New Construction Hook-Ups page) prior to installation. PenLight’s standards may exceed the national code; please make certain that your contractor is aware of the PenLight meter standards.

You are also required to obtain an electrical permit from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) prior to installation. The L&I offices are located at 950 Broadway, Suite 200, Tacoma, WA and can be reached by phone at (253) 596-3808.

Meter Upgrade Project

At PenLight, providing reliable service is our top priority. The purpose of PenLight’s Meter Upgrade Project is to upgrade all 33,000 electric meters throughout our service territory. Our existing meters are reaching the end of their life cycle, and require replacement. Upgraded meters will provide members easier access to energy usage information and provide better outage notification, enabling more efficient power restoration and improved system status.

PenLight has been a trusted provider and asset to the community for over 90 years. We strive to continue to provide our members with the reliable and affordable service they expect — and deserve.

Starting in 2020, PenLight will begin installing upgraded meters that are equipped with modern technology. The upgraded meters bring many new member benefits over time.

2020 Letter to Members (PDF)

Improved Timing

Sends electric consumption data to PenLight and the existing MyMeter member portal, more quickly than the current meters

Improved Power Quality

Notifies PenLight of variances in voltage and other line conditions, which will help PenLight maintain a more reliable power distribution system

Improved Response Time

Locates issues or outages faster, and more accurately, to help restore service quicker

Improved Member Service

Provides clear usage information allowing members to setup and receive personalized alerts via MyMeter

What are upgraded meters?

Advanced meters support a variety of services that allow you more flexibility and control of your utility use and costs and help us operate more efficiently by helping restore service quicker and reduce the length of outages and system emergencies.

How do the upgraded meters work?

Upgraded meters will send usage data to PenLight on a daily basis over Verizon Wireless’ Grid Wide Network, in a form similar to a text. The meter will collect data and send the information to PenLight. Daily reads will be available to members on PenLight’s current tool MyMeter. Visit our website to sign up.

What are the benefits of upgraded meters?

Upgraded meters sends electric consumption data to PenLight and the existing MyMeter member portal, more quickly than the current meters. They will also notify PenLight of variances in voltage and other line conditions, which will help maintain a more reliable power distribution system. Meters will be able to locate issues or outages faster, and more accurately, to help restore service quicker and provide clear usage information and allows members to setup and receive personalized alerts via MyMeter. Upgraded meters will also allow PenLight’s Member Services department to request instantaneous reads for opening and closing of accounts, verification of readings for high bill research and more.

How long will it take to upgrade all of PenLight’s meters?

The meter upgrade deployment is anticipated to begin in 2020 with a target completion date of late 2020/early 2021. Timeline and updated information will continue to be published throughout the project to keep our members up-to-date with progress.

Will I have to pay a fee to get my upgraded meter installed?

No, there is no fee for the installation of a new meter. If any repairs or improvements need to be made to equipment or your current meter, fees may be applied – this will be on a case by case basis and PenLight will make any repairs within our jurisdiction to limit/avoid any costs to members.

How will my bill be affected?

The only change you will see on your bill is the last read from your old meter, and a new read from the new meter, once installed. Like any new equipment, the upgraded meters will be more efficient due to modern technology.

Can I choose not to have an upgraded meter?

All of our members’ homes and businesses should be equipped with upgraded meters. The efficiency of our billing and electrical system operations depend upon the instantaneous exchange of information, so all parts of our system must be integrated. Leaving existing meters in place would create “holes” in our system and would drive up costs.

Are the upgraded meters safe?

Yes, these meters are subject to rigorous, advanced testing. PenLight ensures that the meters meet industry safety standards and are of no issue to your safety or health.

How will PenLight protect my privacy?

No customer-identifying data – such as names and addresses – is stored in the meters or transmitted across the network.

Just like the current meters, the upgraded meters will simply collect how much energy is being used. The meters encrypt energy use information to ensure privacy, and transmit it to us over a wireless network with multiple layers of security.