Lenoir City Utilities Board upgrading to automated meters

Lenoir City Utilities Board upgrading to automated meters

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6 News Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) - The Lenoir City Utilities Board is installing brand new automated meters for its customers. Eventually, people will be able to monitor their electricity usage via the Internet.

"This is radio read meter. Many residents still have these. The meter reader is holding a hand held device and with a press of a button can read the meter," explained Shannon Littleton, the General Manager for LCUB.

Soon, those meters will be a thing of the past as LCUB is getting rid of the old and bringing in the new automated meters.

"The old hand held device that was used with the radio meter is now stationary so you don't have a meter reader holding that device. So this meter communicates with this reader that is in our offices," he said.

Essentially LCUB is taking the human meter readers out of the equation.

Right now, about 23,000 customers have the new automated meters, but by 2013 they hope to have all 60,000 on board.

"It's going to allow customers to monitor their usage. It's going to allow customers to better serve themselves on when, where and how they use their energy," said Littleton.

That is because once they're all installed, customers will be able to go online and read their meters themselves

"I think anything that gives you more control. I think people always think they're getting scammed by somebody. But you'll be able to see everyday. If your bill seems high you can find out why that is," said Kim Brothers, an LCUB customer.

Customers will eventually be able to know when peak and low energy times are within the day so they can pick and choose when to use electricity based on cost.

"We have four kids here and we are doing tons of laundry. Knowing that if you wait until 9:00pm to do it then it will save you x amount of money, we'd absolutely do that," she said.

These opportunities may not be available until 2014.

This technology is not new for LCUB. The utility's gas department already uses it and they're beginning to use it with their water department as well.

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