By the end of the year all Tulsans will be on the digital power grid. PSO began installing the first of its 300,000 smart meters Tuesday.
The company said the new system will give the customers more power over their bills.
The way it works now, with an old analog meter, a reader comes out, checks it and the customer gets a bill.
With the new technology, the information is sent directly to PSO and the customer will be able to keep track of their power usage wherever they go.
It's out with the old and in with new shiny smart meters at Jeanne Thompson's east Tulsa apartment complex; one of the first on PSO's upgrade list.
“I know nothing other than it's digital, and it should make their life a whole lot easier and I should notice nothing different,” Thompson said.
In all, crews installed about 350 Advanced Meters in Tulsa Tuesday. That's not even a drop in the bucket in the company's plans to install 300,000 by December.
Project manager, Derek Lewallen said smart meters will give customers a real-time look at how much electricity they're using.
“Now we can give our customers more choices and options and more information that we haven't been able to do in the last hundred years of our history,” Lewallen said.
So if you've budgeted to use $150 worth of power and halfway through the month you're closer than you'd like, you could try to adjust your usage, according to Lewallen.
“That would be excellent; I would definitely do that and then make some changes,” Thompson said.
PSO said by this summer customers will be able to go online to track usage, set special pay rates and pay bills in advance.
Lewallen said the new technology will also help the company during power outages. With the smart meters customers will no longer have to report an outage.
“As soon as a meter goes out, we'll get a notification, so we can actually respond quicker to outages,” he said.
More than 30,000 PSO customers in Owasso, Sand Springs, Okmulgee and at the University of Tulsa already have new AMI meters.
The company said the upgrades should not change rates.
PSO said the analog meters aren't even manufactured in the U.S. anymore.