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Futuristic Meter Readers in Springfield
Futuristic Meter Readers in Springfield

City Water Light and Power has been switching out older meters for newer ones.

Springfield CWLP Chief utility engineer Eric Hobbie said new meters will be able to send out signals to multiple electric appliances in the home. Meter readers in town will have handheld devices that can communicate with the meter, meaning those CWLP employees won’t have to walk through the backyard just to check it.

“With our system we currently have, if we have your phone number in our customer database, we’ll pick up your caller ID, we’ll have the outage at your location and the first message you’ll hear is ‘we’re aware of an outage at your house.’”

Automatic meter readers have batteries inside of them that broadcasts readings to the dispatch center within seconds of an outage. Hobbie said they know about most outages before you even do and new meters will be able to send out signals to multiple electric appliances in the home.

“It’s a hot day today, the grid is talking about high power demand, suddenly it signals out and the meter talks to devices in your house to turn off the hot water heater, to turn up your thermostat or to turn off your washing machine.”

Meter readers in town will have handheld devices that can communicate with the meter, meaning those CWLP employees won’t have to walk through the backyard just to check it.  Moving to the automatic meter reading system has also led to some downsizing, says Hobbie.