Lakeshore News Tonight

NIPSCO Installing Remote Utility Meters

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Northwest Indiana homeowners will see more gas and electric meter employees in their backyards over the next few years.  That’s because NIPSCO is in the process of converting its region customers to automated meter reading systems.  The company contracted with Tru-Check… which has already begun installing the new meters. Lakeshore News reporter Denise Turner found out how they work……

Out with the old and in with the new. NIPSCO Is in the process of installing new gas and electric meters.  The company recently finished mounting the new technology on structures in South Haven and is now moving on to Hammond.

Kathleen Szot, NIPSCO: It’s something new um that is coming to all of NIPSCO’s territory across Northwest Indiana and really, the goal is to improve customer service by not going into people’s yards.

What’s new is how the technology works once NIPSCO’s partner True Check makes the installation.

Szot: The technology is similar to I-PASS or I-ZOOM, that it allows us to collect a reading, the usage information in a drive-by format. So it’s the same data we were collecting before in a manually way, that now it will send a signal when we drive by.

NIPSCO says the tiny white boxes mounted on top of its vehicles are less intrusive than the NIPSCO workers are.  That’s because the boxes read the meter only during the drive by.

Szot: There are no privacy issues with this new technology; the only information sent via the AMR readers is usage information.

Homeowner Chad Pates received his new meter this week… and says he likes the idea.

Chad Pates: You don’t have to worry about them coming in your yard and then they send a bill to you and I think that’ll be a better way to go myself.

NIPSCO says it has installed six-thousand meters … and will need a few more years to upgrade about 460-thousand additional customers. In Hammond, Denise Turner, Lakeshore News.


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