PNG has received approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission to modernize meter reading for customers by installing automated meter reading (AMR) technology at homes and businesses in the areas of:
The AMR technology translates the mechanical dials on a meter into a radio signal, making it possible for PNG to collect meter reads using a drive-by system. This will improve the safety and efficiency of meter reading and gas billing by eliminating the need for PNG to enter your property each month to read the meter located outside your home or business.
Implementing AMR systems involves attaching a device called an encoder receiver transmitter (ERT) to your existing meter. It encodes the consumption and transmits the data to remote mobile data collectors using drive-by collection technology. Once the readings are gathered, they are automatically uploaded to the billing system for billing purposes.
AMR meter reads will be conducted monthly, ensuring accurate readings for each billing period and eliminating the use of estimates for properties that couldn’t be accessed due to locked gates, animals or weather.
Customers will keep their existing meters. To install the AMR technology, PNG will visit each customer premises and attach a small ERT to each customer meter. No interruption of gas service will occur. The transmitter collects natural gas usage data in real time.
Safety is a top priority for PNG. The new ERT module conforms with Industry Canada standards for radio frequency safety. The modules will be installed outside on the meter. Unlike other wireless technology, our ERTs use low power signals – about one watt. If you are 20 cm away from the meter, the radio signal exposure is less than 1.5% of Canadian exposure limits (Safety Code 6, 2015).
The AMR implementation is expected to save PNG’s customers money over the life of the technology through reduced vehicle and labour costs. Other benefits include:
Installation of ERTs on each customer’s existing meter is planned to begin in Spring 2021.
We’ve received a number of questions about AMR and how it works. To learn more about AMR, read our Frequently Asked Questions. If you have a question, please contact us at 1-800-627-2836 or AMRproject@png.ca for a response.