Entergy is sending out 90-day notices to Orange County customers to let them know about a change to 21st Century technology. The company will be installing digital meters that will be convenient for meter readers and electricity consumers.
Kacee Kirschvink Texas Entergy Communications said Orange County has nearly 42,000 customers and they will be getting the new meters starting in November.
Kirschvink and Jim Malain, Entergy customer service manager for the county, talked about the process for replacing old meters with the new ones.
Customers will be notified by mail two weeks before their own meter will be changed. Contractors for Entergy will be doing the work and will knock at a customer’s door before installing a new meter.
Contractors will have Entergy identifications and be clearly marked.
Electrical service to the house will be turned off for the meter exchange, but Malain said the process is quick. The power should be out for only three to five minutes. “It works seamlessly,” he said.
If no one is home for the exchange and the meter is outside, the contractor will still change the meter and leave the customer a door hanger to let them know. The customer may notice clocks inside their house blinking because of the short outage.
The digital meters will allow easier reading for the company and a number of services for customers. When everything is set up, customers with the digital meters will be able to go online through Entergy’s customer portal and find details of their useage.
Malain said eventually, the meters will be able to let customers buy electricity like they do cell phone data. If a customer on a fixed income registers to spend only $50 a month on electricity, they will set their meter to get notices as the consumption nears the mark. They will be able to adjust useage to meet their use goal.
Malain said the digital meters will also make it easier for linemen to restore service to areas. The digital equipment will be able to pinpoint an outage more closely. Also, the meters will automatically let Entergy know about a service outage, though customers should still contact the company.
Kirschvink said customers should not worry about the digital meters. The frequency they emit is as safe as a cell phone, she said.