The accurate reading of meters is an operation of major importance for any electric utility company, not only from a revenue standpoint but also in the promotion of strong customer relationships. In gaining access to meters, the meter reader makes many personal contacts with customers and is often the only utility employee seen by the customer.

With this in mind, most electrical utility companies choose, for their meter reading personnel, employees who are conscientious and have the natural attributes of friendliness, courtesy, and a
neat appearance.

A meter reader’s initial training course usually includes the fundamentals of good public relations, familiarization with the types of metering equipment likely to be encountered, and thorough explanations of the terms used in customer billing.

It is important that meter readers be familiar enough with their company’s organizational structure to be able to channel a customer’s requests and questions to the proper departments.

Meter reading is carried out under a carefully planned program, and meter routes are arranged in proper reading order. Readings are taken on a pre-arranged schedule to make the billing cycle practicable and to provide an even flow of work for other operations, such as billing, auditing, and collecting.

To prevent undue annoyance to customers and to expedite the work, meter-reading records usually contain notations showing the exact locations of meters, means of access, keys needed (if applicable), and notes of any unusual conditions, such as physical hazards and/or dangerous pets.

If it is necessary to enter a customer’s premise, it is a good practice for readers to announce themselves courteously and produce proper identification when requested.

Meter readers can be of considerable help to the company in reporting irregularities, such as changes in customers, meters without a reading record, vacant buildings, stopped meters, unsealed meters, unmetered service, and any other condition that might adversely affect customer billing, safety, or the quality of service rendered.

The principal duty of a meter reader is to obtain the meter readings and to make certain that these readings are entered on the correct reading records by verifying addresses and meter numbers. A good meter reader will enter the readings on mark sense cards or meter reading sheets in a clear, precise, and legible manner.

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