SoCal gas rolling out Advanced Meters
First, it was Smart Meters. Now, it’s Advanced Meters coming to your home soon.
Southern California Gas company is rolling out its new advanced meters with the schedule having them installed in Tulare County in early 2014.
Gas company spokesperson Javier Mendoza said the Advanced Meter should not be confused with the electrical utility Smart meters, although they are similar.
“This new advanced meter automatically reads and securely transmits hourly gas usage information on a next day basis. Customers will be able to access their meter information online and see information related to their gas usage,” states the company’s website.
Mendoza said meters have begun to be installed in Southern California, and 22,048 meters they are scheduled to be installed here during March and April of next year. In all, six million meters will be installed.
There is no cost to the customer for the installation and the installation of the new meters, which should take about 15 minutes and will be performed by SoCalGas employees.
As part of the project, 4,000 Data Collection Units are being installed throughout the SoCalGas service territory, with six of those installed in Porterville.
Southern California Edison has basically completed its installation locally of the Smartmeters, said Cal Rossi with SCE.
“We’re 99 percent complete,” said Rossi of the customers served by SCE in the Valley.
He said the installation has gone smoothly, and so far he was not aware of any issues with the new meters.
“I haven’t heard of any. Seems to be going quite well,” he said.
Mendoza described the gas meter as a “traditional gas meter that transmits information.” He said it will not be as sophisticated as the electric meters.
It will mean that no longer will a utility worker need to go into a person’s backyard to read their meter, unless the person has opted out of the program.
“It affords them better privacy, so we do see advantage to customers,” said Mendoza.
The advanced meter communication device will turn on for a fraction of a second each day to automatically read and transmit a residence’s encrypted gas usage information directly to one of the utility’s data collectors.
The advanced meter is powered by two special AA batteries, similar in technology to those used in pacemakers. Battery voltage is reported along with gas usage data and because the energy required to transmit the data is so low, the batteries are expected to keep a charge for at least 20 years.
For more on the Advanced Meters, go to socalgas.com.