Your UEC Meter

Members East of Pendleton Receiving Updated Meters This Winter

Dec. 1, 2021

New automated meters to help improve our electric distribution system east of Pendleton will be deployed over the coming months. On behalf of UEC, Allegiant Utility Services technicians will replace existing automated meters at more than 2,000 residences and other service locations beginning in December.

The meter replacements will begin in the Mission area and progress up the Umatilla River and to the Kamela and Meacham areas. The replacements will continue into spring 2022 as the Weston Mountain and Tollgate areas are included.

Disruption to members should be minimal. On the day of the replacement, members can expect to lose power for a few seconds as a technician makes the switch. In addition, your next electric utility bill may show two meter readings: one from the old meter and one from the new meter. The new automated meters will help UEC’s ongoing efforts to improve service reliability.

In recent years, UEC has upgraded its control and data systems, outage management and field equipment to help operators at its command center in Hermiston more quickly detect and respond to outages with accurate location prediction, reducing the need to send a crew to manually check miles of power lines. The new meters build upon that system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does UEC use digital meters?

The data from digital meters helps us serve our members better. Our goals in installing new meters are to deliver better service, control rising operating expenses, improve system reliability through improved outage management and preventive maintenance, and provide our members with information they can use to make informed decisions about energy use.

Are there any potential health impacts from a meter that can receive and send data?

No. Research conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute, the Utilities Telecom Council and others has indicated no health impacts from digital meters. The radio frequencies emitted by digital meters falls well below the maximum recommended in federal guidelines. Contrary to some misconceptions, the new meters emit radio frequencies (RF) only when responding to a request for data from the co-op office, once every 15 minutes. Compare this activity to a laptop with a wireless connection, which is constantly sending and retrieving data. A digital meter equipped to send and receive data has an RF density hundreds of times less than the RF density of a cell phones – and the meters are installed on the outside of your house not next to your ear.

Your cooperative is a not‐for‐profit private business that is solely owned and operated by the members who receive electric service from our company. When our Board of Directors approves a policy or procedure for the use of new equipment and technologies, they do so knowing that it will also apply to their own homes. In using this type of metering system, we have not only deemed it to be a wise and safe choice for all co‐op members and their families but our own families as well.

How will I know if my meter has been changed?

Our contractor will leave a door hanger on your front door to let you know they have changed the meter. We will work to minimize any inconvenience. You do not have to be present during the meter change.

For more information about the meter replacement project, please call UEC at 541 567-6414.