Contract crews are changing out older RF (radio frequency) meters for newer AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) meters that use a combination of radio and cell phone technology allowing remote reading of the customer location by the company. Currently, meter readers must physically drive by customer locations to read monthly billing data.
Contract workers from QUES (Quanta Utility Engineering Services) are currently replacing a total of about 49,000 meters in the Kingsport area. (Area residents may also see PAR Electric personnel installing network infrastructure devices in the area). QUES and PAR employees are properly identified as working for AEP Appalachian Power and will not ask to enter homes. Neither will they request a customer to come outside, according to an AEP release.
Customers have been notified by the company via recorded phone calls or voicemail that the meter changes will occur in their neighborhoods and that a short power outage will happen at that time. Meter installation will continue for the remainder of February and possibly into March in this area.