Why Puget Sound Energy left a local home out of gas on a chilly night

Last night’s low was into the 40s. No heat at Kristin‘s house in West Seattle – and she wanted to be sure what happened to her doesn’t happen to you.

Kristin and her family weren’t home when Puget Sound Energy came by for some gas-meter maintenance on Tuesday. The maintenance led to their gas service being shut off – and left off – and they had to make an appointment to get it turned back on.

What she learned, and what we confirmed when checking on this with PSE, is that the date/time was announced by postal mail – but the utility does not require confirmation. If they don’t hear from you, they’ll just assume that date/time is OK with you. And if no one’s home, instead of coming back some other time or rescheduling, they’ll do the work anyway, and leave you to work out the logistics of getting the gas turned back on.

PSE spokesperson Janet Kim told us that you generally should be able to get a crew to come do that same-day. But Kristin didn’t get a call back until this morning – saying that someone would be by sometime before midnight. (We’re waiting to hear back if and when they showed up.)

By the way, while researching this, we learned something we hadn’t heard, despite being PSE gas customers ourselves – like Seattle City Light, PSE is switching to “smart meters.” The map on their website says West Seattle changes will be made this year. But PSE’s Kim says that hasn’t started yet, so that’s not what was done at Kristin’s house.

4 Replies to "Why Puget Sound Energy left a local home out of gas on a chilly night"

  • Betty L May 2, 2019 (9:05 am)

    PSE has had smart gas  meters for at least fifteen years. They’re upgrading to the next generation of smart meters. 

    • WSB May 2, 2019 (1:50 pm)

      As explained on the linked page

      while PSE was an early adopter of automated meters, those are not the same thing as smart meters, which communicate two-ways, among other things, and that’s what they’re in the midst of upgrading to – TR

  • st May 2, 2019 (1:23 pm)

    This happened to me a few years ago.

  • Jim P. May 2, 2019 (3:04 pm)

    Unless there was an exigent emergency situation, there is no reason other than bureaucratic bushwah preventing them from delaying this sort of thing until they get a positive “OK” from the owner.Presuming that just because someone didn’t say “No” means they said “Yes” is not a valid option in almost nay aspect of life.

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