Earlier this year, NIPSCO rolled out a multi-year project to upgrade gas and electric meters across northern Indiana, in an attempt to improve customer service, efficiency, and safety, through the installation of an Automated Meter Reading System.
The new AMR meters allow NIPSCO to gather monthly readings through a receiver mounted in a NIPSCO vehicle, rather than walking door to door to read more than 900,000 meters each month.
Adopted by many utilities across the country, AMR meters differ from “smart meters,” which transmit information through a wireless communication network. The AMR receivers collect only meter readings; personal account information is not collected. “The meters transfer a signal when the receiver passes by within a certain distance,” stated NIPSCO External Communications Manager Kathleen Szot. “This technology will allow us to gather meter readings without entering customers’ homes or yards.”
The project has been focused in the Hammond area, moving west to east; a few pockets in Valparaiso have already been outfitted with the new meters as well. Homeowners will receive a letter ahead of the install, informing residents that a subcontractor from Tru-Check, a leading national utility services company, will be completing the installation. The technicians will carry photo identification, wear uniforms, and drive marked vehicles.
“Safety and improved customer service are the main motives behind this project,” Szot went on to say. “This will virtually eliminate estimation on bills and cut down on error.”
No job loss will occur as a result of this upgrade.
To learn more about AMR, visit NIPSCO.com/AMR