How Meters Are Read

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Automated Meter Read (AMR) Devices Help Get the Job Done

As a resident of El Dorado County and a customer of EID you’re most likely well aware of the vast territory we cover. EID employee in orange shirt in front of EID truckWith over 45,000 meters in a 220-square mile service area, you may wonder how we read every meter.

Efficiency is the key! Our routes are in line with our eight billing cycles. We also utilize an automated meter reading (AMR) devices that allow remote reading. Over 20,000 of our customers’ meters use AMR technology.

AMR meters use communication technology to read meters without having to access the meter, which is located in a meter box in the ground. AMR is becoming the standard for utilities around the country.

Water meters with AMR technology include a small radio transmitter powered by a battery that is connected to the water meter by a cable. The signal the water meter transmits produces a low frequency radio wave that is many times lower than many other everyday items found in homes, such as cell phones, baby monitors, and wireless routers and are extremely efficient.

The radio device collects a reading from the meter and transmits the reading to a receiving device located in an EID service vehicle. An EID technician drives through your neighborhood to get the read without having to stop, locate your meter box, uncover it, clear debris then obtain the read.

The data collected consists of the unique meter number and the digits of the meter’s measurement. The recorded data is then uploaded to EID’s computer system, reviewed by our utility billing staff for accuracy and any unusual consumption levels. After review the data is then used to generate your utility bill.

Meters are read on a bimonthly basis, by either radio or manual read, with 99 percent accuracy. It is very rare that we estimate a meter read and only when the meter is inaccessible or unsafe conditions prevent our technicians from gaining access.

Meter in Box with Auto Meter Read Device (AMR) attachedMost of the more densely populated western part of EID’s service area and accounts with sewer service are on the AMR system. As meters fail or are in difficult areas to access we upgrade them to the AMR system. All new installations include AMR meters.

If you have questions about your meter or water usage, please visit the customer service webpage or email us your questions at
billing@eid.org.