NEEDLES — The Needles Public Utility Authority is changing all electric and water meters to automatic metering.
The Automatic Metering Infrastructure project is scheduled to begin with the installation of all electric smart meters starting Sept. 6. Water meters are scheduled to be changed in October.
Installation will take three to four months to complete, city officials said.
Once all smart meters are installed, the NPUA can begin the process of connecting them to the billing system, a process that is expected to take several months.
A smart meter is a water or electric meter that can digitally send readings without the need to manually read each meter. They enable a secure, two-way communication between the meters and the NPUA’s billing system.
Once connected, what will this mean for customers?
? No more manual meter reading. This will provide accurate, real-time meter reads.
? No more estimated bills.
? Customers also will be able to use information to monitor water or electricity use and make more informed decisions about energy and water use.
? If there is a power outage, the city will be informed immediately, allowing the utilities authority to send repair crews faster and restore power or water supplies quicker.
Wellington Energy, a certified contractor, will install the smart meters.
All Wellington Energy vehicles are marked with a "CONTRACTOR City of Needles" sign for easy identification and all employees carry photo identification that verifies they are an authorized contractor for the NPUA.
On the day of the installation, an installer will come to customers' doors to let them know the meter is being installed.
If the meter is readily available, the customer may not need to be home. If the meter is located inside, and the installer is unable to exchange the meter, a door hanger will be placed requesting that the customer contact the business office as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that the number of billing days on bills may fluctuate during this transaction.
There will be no disruption in service during the installation.
If an installer cannot show an identification card, or if there is a concern about that person’s identity, call Kim Mitchell at 760-326-5700, ext. 119.