Good Question: Can this meter really be accurate?

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — Let’s answer a Good Question about Rochester Gas & Electric and New York State Electric & Gas.

This is a separate issue than what our investigative team has been covering. Those stories are about all those people going months without getting a bill, then getting a sky-high tab all at once.

This story is about meters themselves and you might be asking the same question.

A homeowner named Samuel sent News10NBC’s Brennan Somers a pic of his meter outside his house. You can tell it’s been through some harsh seasons over the years. Samuel is worried that it isn’t good anymore.

Samuel wrote:

  • "My NYSEG gas meter is unreadable. I’ve asked through phone calls and emails with photos of the meter to change the face so it can be read. My bill cannot be correct without an accurate reading. They refuse to change it."

You might have a similar and old-looking meter outside your house. So I asked the energy services company Avangrid what can, or should, homeowners do about it?

The answer? It’s like the cliché – don’t judge a book by its cover. Avangrid said:

  • "This meter is readable. We have been out to look at the meter and the results of our field visit indicate changing the globe or meter will not help the condensation because of the location and the way the sun hits it. Although there is condensation on the globe, we are confident it can be read accurately."

That meter in question has been in place since 1992. Avangrid says the "history is reliable." If a meter reader puts in a read that’s out of line, the handheld gauge will beep at them with an alert.

Speaking of meters, RG&E and NYSEG are currently in a multi-year process of installing new smart meters at our homes, nearly two million for electric and gas.

As for rules regulating these meters, that’s with the NYS Department of Public Service.

The group says an electric or gas meter can be used in New York State only if it’s a type approved by the Public Service Commission. To ensure the accuracy of meters in the State, the Commission:

  • Oversees meter testing laboratories and all utility meter shops.
  • Checks the accuracy of utility meter testing devices to standards certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • Samples test meters before they are installed, then tests other samples after they are taken out of service to see how well they have performed.
  • Checks the accuracy of a meter at the request of a consumer.

Learn more about filing a complaint here.