Estimated bills for NIPSCO customers could soon be a thing of the past.
On Monday, the
Northern Indiana Public Service Company announced that it will begin
installing an Automated Meter Reading System (AMR) on customers’ natural gas
and electric meters.
The new AMR
meters will 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,” NIPSCO said.
“The AMR receivers collect only meter readings. Personal account information
is not collected.”
“The use of AMR
is one of many efforts to improve service for our customers,” NIPSCO Chief
Operating Office Mike Finissi said. “The new technology will help avoid
inconvenience and intrusions associated with entering customers’ yards or
homes. It also will improve our employees’ safety by eliminating many of the
common obstacles our meter readers face, such as inclement weather, dog
bites and tripping hazards.”
selected Metadigm, a leading national utility services company specializing
in metering services, to complete the installations. NIPSCO and Metadigm
have elected to partner with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
(IBEW) Local 697 to supply the workforce of approximately 60 technicians
needed for the project.
long-standing relationship between NIPSCO and the Building Trades Unions led
to this first-time partnership between the IBEW construction branch and the
vendor, Metadigm,” IBEW representative Ray Kasmark said. “The arrangement is
a win-win for all parties involved. We are pleased to provide job
opportunities for new IBEW members to successfully complete this project for
NIPSCO, and our hope is that the arrangement will be replicated around the
rest of the country.”
technology will be installed on all meters across NIPSCO’s service area by
2016. Installations will begin late February in South Haven, Ind. The
schedule for the remainder of the rollout has yet to be determined.
receive a letter in advance of the meter change. The installation process
will be done at no charge to the customer and takes approximately 20 minutes
or less. NIPSCO Electric Customers may notice a brief service interruption
during the installation.
will carry photo identification, wear uniforms, and drive marked vehicles.
NIPSCO meter readers can collect roughly 300 meter readings every four
hours,” NIPSCO said. “In that same time frame, a vehicle equipped with an
AMR receiver can collect 6,300 readings.”
“No job loss
will occur as a result of this upgrade,” NIPSCO added.
To learn more
about AMR, visit NIPSCO.com/AMR