AMR Project

About the Project

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:

  • Dawson Creek
  • Fort St. John, and
  • Tumbler Ridge

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.

How AMR works

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.

 

amr meterreader

 

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.

Meters

 

Safety

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).

Customer Benefits

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:

  • Improving the efficiency of meter reading and gas billing.
  • Preventing reading and recording errors.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions of PNG operations due to fewer vehicles associated with meter reading.
  • Increasing the quality of customer service by eliminating estimated billing for properties that cannot be accessed. Although reconciled on the next bill, estimates can vary from actual use.
  • Reduced risk and increased safety for personnel.

Timeline

Project timeline

Next steps

Installation of ERTs on each customer’s existing meter is planned to begin in Spring 2021.

  • Customers will be directly notified about the program via a bill message and insert in winter 2021.
  • In advance of ERT installation, customers will be called by Stratacom, the installation contractor for the Itron technology, to confirm their service date.
  • The installation takes only 10 – 15 minutes with no interruption to service during this process. As long as your meter is accessible, no one needs to be home for the installation.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 1-800-667-2297 or AMRproject@png.ca for a response.