LYONS — Meter reading will soon be getting a technological makeover in Wayne County, a representative of RG&E and NYSEG told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning.
Timothy Winderl, a government and community relations representative of the partner utilities — both are owned by Avangrid — said “smart” electric and gas meter technology will be installed in Wayne County homes and businesses in early 2023.
Winderl explained that smart meters allow two-way, wireless communication between the meter and the utilities’ systems, meaning they transmit usage and meter status data to the companies automatically.
“Now we’ll have the ability to read at anytime,” he said, adding that bill estimates will largely go away. “Right now, we estimate every other month.”
Winderl noted that the technology will mean faster responses during outages, allowing the companies to pinpoint who has power and who does not. He added the system also will offer opportunities for customers to better manage their energy usage by working with the utilities.
The meter installations will be done by the utilities or a contractor weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and some Saturdays, Winderl noted. Wireless components that transmit the information already have been installed on NYSEG and RG&E utility poles.
Gas meters need just a module added, while electric meters must be changed out, he said.
The utilities plan to communicate the changeover to smart meters in a number of ways, including an open house Nov. 9-10 at RG&E’s operations center in Sodus. Word will be disseminated through town supervisors and direct mailers too.
Customers can opt out of the electric meters, the company said, but those that do will be charged monthly meter-reading fees of $13.37 for NYSEG and $11.56 for RG&E. Additionally, if companies are unable to gain access to install the smart meters after several visits, phone calls, and mailings to homes and businesses, they automatically will be enrolled in the opt-out program.
The smart meters, which the utilities claim are secure, will be installed throughout the RG&E and NYSEG service areas over the next couple of years.
For more information on the program, go to https://bit.ly/3Up7Fby.