The City’s gas utility is implementing new smart gas meters throughout Long Beach and Signal Hill that will enable more efficient natural gas usage, and also eliminate thousands of monthly meter reader visits to home and businesses.
“The City of Long Beach is proud to champion a program that uses innovative technology to help our customers and our Gas Department become more efficient and environmentally responsible,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.
These new smart gas meters communicate consumption data directly to the City, providing the Long Beach Gas & Oil Department with more accurate meter reading in a more timely fashion. They will automatically alert officials when a gas leak or other problem is suspected, and allow customers to start or stop gas service in real time when they move into or out of their home or business.
Reducing meter reading improves customer privacy and lowers greenhouse gas emissions and congestion associated with vehicle trips.
“We are dedicated to providing our customers with state-of-the-art technology to continue to achieve excellence in customer service,” said Edward Farrell, Acting Director of Long Beach Gas & Oil. “By modernizing our metering infrastructure, we are aligning ourselves with industry best practices and realizing the benefits of a 21st Century utility.”
From February 1, 2016 to early 2018 all residential and business utility customers in Long Beach and Signal Hill will have their gas meters upgraded. This is done by either replacing the current meter, or by simply installing a small remote-reading device on the gas meter, with no interruption in gas service. No action by customers is necessary. All customers will receive a courtesy notice in the mail in advance of having their meter upgraded.
The City of Long Beach Gas & Oil representatives and the City’s meter installation contractor, Utility Partners of America (UPA), will be working to facilitate the meter conversion process. Approximately 30 Long Beach residents have been hired to install the smart meters. All installers are required to have a valid identification badge, company logo on the vehicle, and to be in uniform. For additional information on the program, please visit the utility’s smart gas metering webpage at www.longbeach.gov/smartgasmeter
The City of Long Beach has successfully completed a pilot project consisting of converting more than 1,000 gas meters from June to October, 2015. All of the new meters are communicating properly with the City’s meter reading and billing systems.
Shortly after the new smart meters begin tracking usage, the utility will provide customers with new informative tools online, to help customers monitor and modify their usage, become more efficient natural gas users and also save money in the process.