Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Smart Gas Meter?
City of Long Beach (CLB) representatives need to visit meters monthly to gather gas consumption information for billing purposes. Like your current meter, smart gas meters will also register consumption data. However, smart meters are able to transmit this information directly to the utility using wireless technology. This means CLB gas department representatives will no longer need to gain access to your home or business to get monthly billing data. View an image of a smart gas meter.
How Does A Smart Gas Meter Work?
CLB’s smart gas meters transmit hourly usage data using low power radio signals over an encrypted network. This information is sent back to the utility and used to improve our operations. CLB will also be offering new tools to customers to review their own usage patterns, including a web portal. Learn more about how CLB’s smart gas metering technology works.
What Are The Benefits Of CLB’s Smart Gas Metering Program?
CLB has identified many benefits for our smart metering program. These include:
- Empowering Customers – By monitoring and modifying your usage, you can become a more efficient natural gas consumer and also save money in the process. Our utility staff can also identify and inform customers of high usage behavior with tips on how to conserve.
- Improving Customer Satisfaction – CLB will have the tools to improve customer service response time and facilitate proactive communications for our natural gas customers.
- Enhancing Customer Privacy and Safety – Once CLB has migrated to the new AMI billing reads, CLB gas utility representatives will no longer need access to customers’ property for monthly billing data. This will take place approximately two to three months after your meter has been upgraded. Additionally, CLB will utilize analytical tools to further improve safety and identify issues such as leaks and tampering.
- Reducing Carbon Footprint and Vehicular Traffic – By eliminating 160,000 vehicle trips annually, CLB will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and congestion on our roadways.
- Increasing Operational Efficiencies – CLB will have new resources to streamline our utility’s processes and reduce labor for meter readings and systems administration.
- Increasing Meter Reading and Billing Accuracy – The new meters provide more timely and granular gas consumption data, thus reducing the need for estimated bills or additional trips to read your meter.
When Can I Expect My Smart Gas Meter Upgrade?
CLB smart gas meter upgrades are expected to continue through early 2018, with up to 10,000 meters replaced on a monthly basis. All customers will receive a notice on their bill and a letter in advance of having their meter upgraded.
Who Will Install The New Smart Gas Meter?
City of Long Beach Gas Utility representatives and Utility Partners of America (UPA), CLB’s meter installation contractor, will be upgrading our gas meters. All installers are required to have an identification (I.D) badge, company logo on the vehicle and to be in uniform. Customers are encouraged to ask for identification and to call CLB directly at 562-570-5700 to verify the installer’s identity. View more information on what to expect.
How Long Will It Take To Upgrade My Smart Meter?
The meter upgrade process is expected to take 30 minutes or less. If your meter is unable to be upgraded, CLB or UPA will leave a notice with additional instructions.
How Do I Know If My Meter Was Upgraded?
CLB or UPA will leave a notice indicating if your meter was successfully upgraded. If your meter was unable to be upgraded, please call the phone number on the notice to schedule an appointment. See what the notice will look like.
When Will I Be Able To See My Usage Information From My Smart Gas Meter?
CLB will be making a web portal available to customers to view their gas consumption history. Customers will be invited to sign up for the web portal as soon as it is in production.
Are There Any Health Hazards Associated With CLB’s Smart Gas Meters?
No. CLB’s smart gas meters are compliant with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) health and safety standards. In fact, the radio frequency (RF) exposures from smart meters are much lower than most common household devices including microwaves, baby monitors and Wi-Fi devices. CLB has reviewed numerous RF studies and reports, including those from the American Cancer Society, California Council on Science and Technology and the World Health Organization which all conclude there is no evidence that RF emissions from smart meters pose a health risk. Please click on the names of the organization’s above for more information.
Will Smart Meters Make My Bills Increase?
A smart gas metering deployment can actually result in lower bills to customers. CLB will be providing customers with more information on gas usage through the web portal. This information can assist customers in conserving natural gas resources, which in turn results in lower bills.
Is My Smart Meter Accurate?
Yes. Smart meters are used to measure consumption, and in fact do so more accurately than electro-mechanical meters.
Is My Personal Information Kept Private?
Yes. CLB uses encryption and other cyber security best practices to keep smart metering and personal data safe. Gas usage data is sent over a private network and is identified with a meter number only, not customer name or address.