Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana-North recently launched an 18-month plan to install automated meter reading devices throughout its southeast and central Indiana service territory, including Seymour.
Crews working for Vectren soon will begin installing encoder receiver transmitters on meters in this area. The transmitters will enable the utility to obtain actual reads by driving routes, rather than walking the routes, according to a news release from the company.
The majority of existing meters will be quickly retrofitted to house the new technology, and it doesn’t require any action by the customer as long as their meter is located outside the house. The retrofit process can take as little as 10 minutes.
In some cases, replacement of the meter may be necessary as a result of the current meter being unable to accept the new technology.
If inside home access or a complete meter changeout is required, customers will be contacted by a Vectren representative prior to the start of the required work.
The transmitters will increase reads per day and eliminate issues such as weather, meter reader turnover, animals and locked gates from obtaining actual reads.
The devices are installed on natural gas meters to transmit meter information via radio signals to data collection devices located within specially-equipped vehicles.
Powered by a battery, this technology operates at a special low-power frequency and has been proven nationally in many utility installations not to interfere with any other electrical equipment such as computers, radios, satellite television, home security systems, mobile devices or pacemakers.
Mike Roeder, president of the Evansville-based utility, said the system will reduce the number of estimated meter reads and is more convenient for customers who have traditionally had to provide the utility with access to inside meters or those behind locked gates.
The implementation of automated meter reading is included within Vectren’s seven-year natural gas pipeline modernization filing and is intended to improve the efficiencies of the utility’s natural gas infrastructure and enhance customer experience in the communities throughout its service territory.
Vectren serves 585,000 gas customers, including those in Bartholomew, Jackson, Lawrence and Monroe counties.