Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) issued a statement Thursday regarding a request it filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission seeking to extend its current meter reading practices. UPPCO currently reads the meters of its customers on a bimonthly basis. During the off months, the company uses an estimate of the energy that is consumed by the customer.
“We do not have an automated meter reading system in place today,” said Brett French, UPPCO Vice President of Business Development and Communications. “Given our current system and considering the size of our service territory, we believe it would add approximately $914,000 to the amount we must bill our customers annually if our meter technicians read all meters every month,” said French.
According to French, “The waiver request is a routine filing we’re required to make each year. Our method for reading meters has not changed and our customers only pay for the energy they actually use since the bills are “trued-up” every other month using actual readings. We are committed to reducing costs to our customers wherever possible. Obtaining an extension to the existing waivers will help us meet that commitment.”
French noted, “UPPCO is currently developing a plan to install Smart Meter technology that will increase system reliability, provide significantly improved customer service and eliminate the need to rely on the estimated meter reading values. We hope to share the details of our Smart Meter plan soon.”