Understanding Meter Reading -The St. Vincent Electricity Services Limited
There are nine VINLEC Meter Readers who each read about 270 meters every day, for the entire mainland. They collect information to calculate the electricity consumption of our customers for a particular period. The task ensures persons can be billed and for the company to be able to run efficiently; maintaining equipment and providing the electricity service.
Coordinating the manual reading of meters is done through a system. On the mainland, locations are grouped into 18 cycles with 128 corresponding routes. While in the Grenadines there are 4 cycles. These cycles have a specific date of the month which meters are expected to be read. Meters are read manually using a handheld device called the Road Runner. However only on Mayreau, the 150 residents have their meters documented by paper sheets.
The task of meter reading is straight forward. The Supervisor for Meter Reading downloads the next day’s route from our system into each meter reading device, called the Road Runner handheld. Out in the field, the Meter Reader would input the meter number and the reading, then save it. There are instances whereby a reading could not have been taken for a home, whether because a gate might have been locked, there were bad dogs, or unfavorable weather. Codes are then used to substitute and explain why the reading was not taken. The information on the handhelds would then be exported to Route STAR (a software) and the process repeated, to prepare for the next day’s route.
Meter reading involves challenging terrains and weather but our nine meter readers are a few who know the ebbs and depths of our country. Having these sturdy men as meter readers allows VINLEC to have an effective system to enable customers from far reaching locations to have electricity.