On Tuesday, GEUS will host its first town hall meeting about the “smart metering” system that the municipally-owned utility company will install over the next two years for its electrical services.
GEUS General Manager Alicia Price has explained that the new system will serve electric customers by providing automated usage information with the power company and help with “outage management down to the individual home.”
The new system will be used for customers with both traditional electric plans and prepaid plans, and human meter readers will no longer regularly be required to enter customers’ property to check electrical usage. This has led several residents to ask if the switch to the smart metering system will result in layoffs for meter readers.
In response, Price told the Herald-Banner, “Smart metering will only be for our electric customers, so we will still require manual reading for our water meters, at least until the city’s water infrastructure is updated. The running of the new system will also require extensive training and some people will be reassigned to new positions.
“Even still for electric, we will do some manual reads if we notice anomalies or see signs of possible meter tampering,” she added. “It’s gonna be an evolution.”
While GEUS employees still have a significant amount of testing to do before they begin installing the system, the utility company plans to host more than one town hall meeting about how smart metering will work.
The first of these town hall meetings about GEUS’ smart metering program will be at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, at the Fletcher Warren Civic Center at 5501 Business Highway 69 South.