Automated meter system more efficient - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Automated meter system more efficient

June 25, 2003

Albany-- It's quicker, cheaper, and is one-hundred percent accurate. The days of meter readers are numbered in Albany. Water Gas and Light will begin installing 100,000 automated water, electricity and gas meters on July 7th.

The automated system will cut the cost of reading a meter by 50 cents, from 56 cents to just 16 cents per reading. Plus, it's quicker.

Lorie Farkas of Water, Gas and Light says, "It's just a van driving down the street where it will take one man walking time to do a neighborhood, this van drives at a slow rate down the street but instantly gets a correct reading from all three meters if you have water gas and electricity."

You will soon get a bright pink information sheet, like this one, explaining the change. No meter reader's will lose their jobs with the change--some will drive the vans, others will be given a different job in the company. It will take about a year to install the eight million dollar system.

There will be no increases in utility rates. Under the approved 94 million dollar budget, the Water, Gas and Light Board did not vote for any rate hikes. But retirees could be paying more for insurance. The board is still working on how much more retirees will have to pay. The Board will meet again Friday to decide on a plan.

Posted at 4:00 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com