Upgrades on the horizon for GRICUA electric meters
August 19, 2016
Gila River Indian News
The Gila River Indian Community Utility Authority is upgrading electric meters at more than 2,800 residences and commercial properties it serves throughout the Community, and it’s doing it without raising rates.
“This upgrade is going to let us offer new services to our customers,” said GRICUA Operations Director Kathy Galloway. She said the software on the new meters is going to allow customers to log into their online account and view an hourly history of their power usage statistics.
GRICUA also plans to backfill customer data with energy consumption information from before the upgrade was implemented. Customers will have access to a 12-month history of their energy consumption so they can compare current consumption rates to those of previous years.
GRICUA supplies power to residential and commercial properties in Districts 1 – 5 of the Gila River Indian Community, as well as in the Lone Butte area of District 6.
“It’s really important to our commercial customers,” said Galloway. GRICUA serves approximately 650 commercial properties, including Gila River Indian Community departments, the Wild Horse Pass Development Area, Phoenix Premium Outlets, and industrial customers in the Lone Butte Development complex.
According to Galloway, the new meters are considered a “technology upgrade,” which has been in the works for several years. It’s not going to cost the customers a penny, nor will it raise rates on power bills.
“It’s just a capital project just like we would do to improve any sort of equipment. So there is no rate increase involved in this,” said Galloway.
Another benefit of the new meters is, beginning in 2017, residential customers will have the option to switch to a pre-pay plan. Those customers will be able to apply money to their GRICUA account online, by phone, at a kiosk, or at the GRICUA office.
The installation of the new meters promises to be a seamless process.
GRICUA technicians will knock on customers’ doors to tell them when they are swapping out the meters. Power will be shut off to the user’s home while the equipment is changed out, then the technician will notify the customer when he or she is done and verify that power has been restored. The process should take fewer than five minutes.
“If you’re not home,” said Galloway, “we’re going to leave you a notification...on your doorknob that says your meter was changed.” She added that residents may notice their microwave or alarm clock blinking due to the brief interruption of power loss. Commercial customers will not experience power outages from the meter exchange.
GRICUA will begin swapping out old meters for new ones in early September. Beginning in Districts 1 and 2, the GRICUA crews will work their way westward. The project will run for several months, but Galloway says all meters will be swapped out before the end of the year.
For regular updates, visit www.gricua.net or visit the GRICUA Facebook page. If you have any questions, call (520) 796-0600 to reach the GRICUA customer service desk.