MILWAUKEE, Wis., Nov. 28, 2001 — Wisconsin Electric-Wisconsin Gas will begin offering customers enhanced service as company personnel start installing automated meters.
Approximately 5,000 customers in Waukesha and the Town of Brookfield will be the first to receive the new meters. Over the next three years, approximately 650,000 meters throughout Southeast Wisconsin and the Fox Valley will be automated.
The new meters will eliminate the need for WE-WG employees to walk or drive from house to house and manually read the electric and gas meters. The meters will send signals through a wireless network that will enable WE-WG to remotely obtain energy consumption data from customers on a daily and monthly basis.
“This technology will help us take a big step forward in streamlining our meter reading and billing operations,” said Kristine Rappe, WE-WG vice president of Customer Services. “We’re looking forward to being able to provide an even higher level of customer service than we currently do.”
Meter installers will attempt to contact the home or business owner before the work begins. The home or business owner does not have to be present for the meter exchange work to be completed unless the meter is inside the building. If access is required, the company will contact the customer to arrange a time.
Electric meters will be replaced; gas meters will only require a retrofit. In both cases, a communication module is attached to the meter, which sends a wireless signal to pole top devices to provide the meter reading data.
The work should take less than 30 minutes. A brief interruption of electric service may occur when the existing meter is exchanged for the new meter. Clocks, radios and VCRs may need to be reset. There will be no interruption of gas service.
The company announced earlier this year its service agreement with SchumbergerSEMA to provide automated meter reading.
During the initial phase of the roll out, the company will continue to read meters in the traditional manner as a way to verify the data that is captured by the automated process.
Wisconsin Electric-Wisconsin Gas, the principal utility subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corp., serves more than one million electric customers and more than 960,000 natural gas customers throughout Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.WE-WG.com.