The City of Nicholasville's Meter Department is still out in full force, but they are moving down the streets a good bit faster these days. We are currently converting from an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system to an Automated Metering Integration (AMI) system which has helped advance the metering technology.
New electric and water meters can be read from the street, thanks to the use of RF waves that can be received several blocks away. The updated meters are being installed in new and old residential homes as well as all businesses. We are currently at 98% complete with Electric meters and approximately 60% with water meters. We expect to be fully AMI in the next two to three years.
As a result of the city's advancement in meter technology meter reader role has evolved into meter technician role which has substantially increased our efficiency and decreased our time in reading so that we can provide better customer service in the field and maintain the maintenance integrity of the equipment.
The Meter Department has 10 full-time employees that play an important role for the city and its utility customers. The City has approximately 6000 electric customers and approximately 16000 water customers. Our service area is as far North as Ashgrove Rd to as far East as Jacks Creek Pike and as far South as Camp Nelson.
The Meter Department is also responsible for sewer customers in several areas that are served by other water districts.
In addition to reading meters, department personnel complete many work orders daily, which includes stopping and starting service for people who are moving, installing new meters, and cutting off services for nonpayment. About 2% or less of our meters needs to be checked each month due to high or low usage, and additionally, about 300 to 400 of our meters are shut off each month due to non-payment. With the City's AMI upgrade, equipment cost has increased, which means that our theft of services liabilities cost has increased for the customer that has tampered with any of our city services. The City of Nicholasville occasionally enlists the help of the Nicholasville Police Department whenever we learn of such fraud.
The public is encouraged to report concerns regarding inappropriate use of electric or water services people illegally tap into electric power, which can be extremely dangerous to children or anyone who may inadvertently come into contact with exposed wiring.
The Meter Department also works closely with the city's Water and Electric departments, whose personnel provide support and assistance to our service technicians with the installation of larger meters, such as commercial or industrial meters, that require larger equipment like a bucket truck or a backhoe. To ensure and document accuracy in these metering services, the Meter Department has implemented a yearly testing program on the commercial and industrial electric meter customers, and the larger water meters customers, which in turn has greatly increased the meter efficiently and accuracy for the City of Nicholasville.
The Meter Department personnel, who wear city uniforms and drive city trucks, still know the neighborhoods that they service and are still on the lookout for any irregular activities they might encounter. So, even if you don't see them as much as you have in the past, the Meter Department is still vigilant and hard at work, and personnel are always available to ensure that your water and electric services are working accurately and efficiently for you.
Have an emergency? An after-hours phone is always manned, so residents may call anytime they have a need for utility related services. That number is 859-885-7305