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home inspector examines residential gas meter
home inspector examines residential gas meter

Meter Reading

Nicor Gas’ Meter Modernization program has upgraded 2.2 million meters across northern Illinois. 

These upgraded meters, which now have a small, two-way communication devices installed, provide timely and accurate data about your natural gas use, eliminating the need for estimated meter reads and ensuring you only pay for the gas you use. The reliable and accurate readings from these upgraded meters provide insight into your energy consumption and give you greater control over your energy use and natural gas bills. Customers can also use this valuable data to reduce their home or business’ carbon footprint. 

The ability to read meters without the need for a field visit simplifies the process of moving properties and reduces the expense and environmental impact of our service vehicles on the road. 

Traditionally, a meter reader would visit your home or business to check your natural gas meter and notate how much gas you used, which was then used to generate your utility bill. These new two-way communication devices feature state-of-the art technology that securely transmits your usage data Nicor Gas via private radio frequencies in compliance with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. 

For more information or questions about these modernized meters, call at 888.Nicor4U (888.642.6748).

gas meter

How to Read Your Meter

Read only those dials with numbers, starting from the left. If the arrow is between numbers, read the lesser number (the number 9 is less than 0).

For example, the reading for the dials here would be 2-9-8-4, or 2,984,000 cubic feet.

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Meter Maintenance

As mandated by federal and state regulations and as an important part of our safety and maintenance programs, Nicor Gas periodically conducts a physical survey of our natural gas mains, service lines and meter sets. Sometimes this includes the interior gas piping in your home or business up to the meter.

If you recently received a postcard and/or door-hanger at your premises, we were attempting to gain access to our meter set to perform a maintenance check. We checked a portion of our service line on your property but were unable to gain access to your house, building or fenced area to complete the survey.

A postcard and/or door-hanger at your premises does not indicate that there is an issue at your premises. However, we do need to gain access to the natural gas meter to complete our maintenance check. Failing to provide access may cause your service to be interrupted.

Tips to Help Complete the Maintenance Check:

  • Locked Gate/Fence/Meter Under House - Please leave the gate/fence unlocked for the indicated Saturday visit.
  • Dog - Please have your dog moved away from the meter set and ensure the dog is unable to approach the technician.
  • Excess Vegetation or Trash/Debris - Please remove the hindrance prior to the Saturday attempt or scheduled appointment.
  • Construction - Please provide a clear path to the meter.
  • Meter Inside - Please be available at the premise either the Saturday attempt or scheduled appointment.

Meter Modernization FAQ

What is the Meter Modernization program?

The Meter Modernization program is one of several investments Nicor Gas is making to modernize and improve how we measure and collect customers' natural gas usage, ensuring every customer's energy needs are met safely and reliably now and well into the future.

How will the Meter Modernization program impact customers?

A small, two-way communication device will be installed on the existing natural gas meter at customer homes or businesses – meters will not be replaced. The communication device will collect natural gas usage information and securely send it to Nicor Gas.

What do customers need to do during installation?

As long as the natural gas meter at your home or business can safely be accessed, you are not required to be present at the time of installation. There will be no interruption to your natural gas service during installation.

What if meters are indoors?

If you normally have to be present when a meter reader accesses your natural gas meter, you will have to be present when the device is installed to allow access to the meter. If needed, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment.

How will customers benefit from the Meter Modernization program?

Automated meters provide the most accurate reading of the amount natural gas you use, eliminating the need for estimated bills. The data these upgraded units collect creates visibility and insight to your energy consumption, leading to greater control over your natural gas bills. Customers can also use this valuable data to reduce their home or business’ carbon footprint.  In addition, the ability to read meters without the need for a field visit simplifies the process of moving properties and reduces the expense and environmental impact of our service vehicles on the road. 

How does the two-way communication device work?

Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, these upgraded meters transmit gas usage data across secure, private frequencies. The energy produced by the two-way communication devices is comparable to that produced by cellular phones, television broadcasts, garage door openers, microwave ovens and Wi-Fi networks.

Is customer natural gas consumption information secure on the two-way communication devices?

Yes. Your energy usage data is transmitted over private frequency ranges that are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and maintained in full compliance of policies, laws and best practices.

Does Nicor Gas offer any opt-out or deferral options?

Nicor Gas does not offer an “opt-out” or deferral option.

You may be aware of other utilities in the area charging a fee to opt out. However, their opt out is only for a brief period and all customers will need to comply.

Will the device interfere with HAM radios?

The frequency of the installed, two-way communication device will not interfere with HAM radio.

What is the radio frequency of the device?

  • 50KHZ
  • Nicor Gas is using 901.600 – 901.650 MHZ for endpoint transmission and 940.600 – 940.650 MHZ for base station transmission.

Health and Safety

This device complies with all FCC health and safety standards.

AMI Online Contractors

There are 7 primary and 2 subs/diversity contractors that we manage for the AMI  program:

  • NPL (w/ Cobian & Millenium as subs)
  • 3P Utilities
  • Pipe Strong
  • United Meters Inc. (UMI)
  • KS Energy
  • Intren
  • Henkels & McCoy (H&M)