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Smart Meter Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be a charge for receiving a new meter?

No. There is no charge to you for receiving a smart meter. The cost of the meters is part of our operations and we believe that, over time, their effectiveness will continue to help us maintain low rates.

Will my utility bill increase after I receive a smart meter?

Having a smart meter at your home in no way changes the rates you pay for electricity and water so you shouldn’t expect your bill to increase significantly after you get a smart meter. There is the theoretical possibility that your old meter was “slow” (not recording your full usage), in which case, yes, your bill may increase once you receive a new, correctly-functioning meter. Although we’ve seen reports of unexpected bill increases from residents in other cities, we haven’t received any such complaints from customers in Anaheim who have already had smart meters installed at their homes.

If you feel that your bill does not accurately reflect your true consumption, please contact us to schedule an energy audit for your home.

Will my bill look different after I receive a smart meter?

Your bill will look nearly the same as it always has, with one small exception: you will no longer see values for your electric meter’s previous and current reading. In order to understand why that is, a little background information on the operation of your meter is necessary.

Once your meter is installed and configured correctly, it will be sending your hourly electric usage information to us once each day. In order to calculate your total consumption during a two month billing period, our billing system tallies up the energy you used during each of those one-hour intervals. In other words, we aren’t simply subtracting your meter reading at the beginning of the billing period from your meter reading at the end of the billing period, which is why those two values are no longer shown on your bill.

Of course one of the benefits of having a smart meter is that you can view your daily and hourly electric usage online.  For instructions on how to do so, please see “Home Energy Reports".

Is the information that’s recorded and transmitted by my smart meter private and secure?

In many ways smart meters enhance your personal privacy by negating the need for bi-monthly visits to your home by a meter reader. And as always, your electric and water consumption information is used by Anaheim Public Utilities strictly for billing purposes.

All of our computer systems, devices, and communication networks, from your meter to our back office billing system, and everything in between, utilize modern security protocols and comply with applicable standards issued by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). If you choose to view your daily and hourly usage history online, you do so via the same secure website that you may already be using to view and pay your utility bill.

In the past, I could calculate my electric usage by reading the dials on the front of my meter. Can I still do that?

Yes. The LCD display on the front of your new electric meter is always on and, depending on the exact model of meter you receive, will rotate every few seconds between digital screen displays. Watch for the screen that shows a number other than all 8’s. Each time a kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity is used, this number will increase by one. The more electricity you use, the faster the number will increase.

Will my power and water be turned off when you replace my meters?

Yes. There will be a brief interruption to both your electric and water service. The interruption to your power will likely be less than ten minutes, after which you may need to reset some of your electronic devices, such as digital clocks. Your water will be temporarily turned off for approximately 20-30 minutes. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Will Anaheim Public Utilities’ staff be installing my new meter?

Yes. APU’s trained Meter Technicians will be installing your smart meters. All of the Meter Technicians have completed a three year apprenticeship and are experienced in testing, inspecting, and installing smart meters. They can be recognized by their uniform with photo ID’s and company vehicles.

Do I need to be home to have my meter replaced?

No. You do not need to be home when the new meter is installed; however, our representatives do require unobstructed access to both your electric and water meters. About two weeks prior to your upgrade, you will receive a letter from us informing you of the exact date that we will be replacing meters in your neighborhood. If after receiving the letter, you would like to request a specific appointment time, please contact us at 714-765-3300.

Several days before you meter is replaced, we will leave a reminder notice on your door. Please take this opportunity to ensure that you’ve made arrangements to unlock gates and secure pets as necessary.

How will I know the meter has been replaced?

After the meter exchange is completed, a hang tag will be left on your front door indicating that your new meters have been successfully installed.

What if Anaheim Public Utilities wasn’t able to change out my meter?

If we are unable to install your meters we will leave a hang tag on your door with further instructions.

What if I am a Lifeline customer or operate medical equipment?

You will receive a letter, and a week before the installation of your new meter, we will call you to schedule an appointment to conduct the meter exchange.

What if I have any questions regarding smart meter installation?

If you have any questions, please call us at 714-765-3300, Monday-Friday, between 8AM-5PM.