AMR Frequently Asked Questions
Questions often asked by customers about automated meter reading
We are here to serve you and your neighbors, and we've put together a list of the most often asked questions regarding AMR. Please click on the FAQ's below to see if your question is answered here. If not, please feel free to call us during business hours. For a printable version of these questions and answers, please click on the image below.
- What is Automated Meter Reading (AMR)?
- What are the benefits of Automated Meter Reading?
- Who will get an AMR upgrade?
- When will you be coming to my home?
- Do I have to wait around all day for an installer?
- Can you tell me the exact day and time the technician will install my AMR upgrade?
- How will I know that my meter has been replaced?
- How long will it take to install the upgrade?
- Will there be interruption to any of my services?
- Will any employees lose their jobs due to the upgrade?
- How secure is the information transmitted by AMR?
- Will WG&E be able to control my electric usage with AMR?
- Do automated meters emit radio frequency signals?
- I would like to read the automated meter myself. How can I do that?
- Who can I contact with additional questions?
Automated Meter Reading (AMR) is a secure technology that will transmit meter data directly to the Westfield Gas & Electric network.
Westfield Gas & Electric is always looking to increase efficiency and reduce costs to benefit its customers. AMR will automate meter reading, eliminate the need for estimated readings, and provide access to current usage information that can help you to manage your monthly utility costs. After the project’s completion, WG&E will also receive automatic notification of power outages, helping us to provide better service in the event of a problem. With a reduced need for meter readers in the field, there will be fewer trucks in your neighborhood, in alignment with the City of Westfield’s green initiatives.
All residences and businesses in the Westfield Gas & Electric service area will be upgraded to AMR.
AMR upgrades will begin in Spring 2012 and continue over the next 36 months. You will receive notification before we begin working in your area. While you are not required to be home during the installation, a WG&E meter technician will knock on your door before beginning work. He/she will have a clearly identifiable Westfield Gas & Electric uniform, vehicle, and identification.
No, you do not need to be home for the upgrade to be installed. The meter technician only needs access to the meter.
You will receive a letter approximately 1 week prior to installation. We cannot confirm a specific day and time.
When your electric meter is upgraded, there will be a brief interruption of power, usually less than five minutes. While there is no surge associated with this shut down, you may choose to turn off computers or other equipment.
In most cases, the upgrade will take less than 15 minutes.
Upon completion, our meter technician will leave a notification confirming installation of the new meter.
Meter readers will not lose their jobs due to AMR. Some personnel will be reassigned and other positions will be eliminated through attrition. During the rollout you may continue to see meter readers in your neighborhood verifying readings on the new equipment. In addition, readers will continue to perform the annual inspection of meters as required by the Department of Public Utilities.
Protecting your information is a top priority for Westfield Gas & Electric. Your meter data is for WG&E’s use only. We apply the same privacy protection standards to all customer data, whether collected by traditional meter reading or AMR. All information is securely encrypted and transmitted via WG&E’s secure network.
Will WG&E be able to control my electric usage with AMR?
No. Westfield Gas & Electric will have no control over your electric consumption. We are changing to an automated system for increased work efficiency and better data collection. Eventually, customers will receive a more complete picture of their electric consumption that they can use to manage their usage.
The automated meters are equipped with radio technology that communicates with the Westfield Gas & Electric network. These low-level radio frequency (RF) signals are assigned by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and are considerably lower than those used by many everyday appliances including cellular and cordless phones, garage door openers, baby monitors, televisions, wireless computer networks, and home security systems. The meters used by WG&E comply fully with the RF safety standards established by the FCC.
Over the years, many of our customers have made a habit of reading their own electric meters. Although the new read-out looks different than the older meters, reading your new meter is not difficult.
The window of the meter has an LCD display which will flash 2 different readings:
- The first reading is 88888. This test number shows that all segments of the LCD are working.
- The second reading is the kilowatt-hour display (kWh). This 5-digit number is your meter reading.
If you are a large commercial customer, please contact your Westfield Gas & Electric account representative for information on reading the Poly-Phase Commercial Automated Meter.
We are always happy to answer your questions at the Westfield Gas & Electric office. Stop into our office at 100 Elm Street or contact a Customer Service Representative during business hours at 572-0100. You can find additional information online at www.wgeld.org