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

Meter Reading

Nicor Gas reads residential, commercial and some industrial meters every other month. To do this, a meter reader will visit your home or business to check your natural gas meter, notating the amount of natural gas you use and generating your utility bill.

If for some reason we cannot read your meter in a given month, you will receive a system-generated bill, which is calculated by considering past usage and adjusting it for exact weather conditions. If a system-generated bill is incorrect, any overcharge or undercharge will be corrected the following month, which means we always bill you only for the gas you actually use.

This manual meter reading practice ensures that you are paying for the exact amount of natural gas you use, not an estimated amount. If you have any questions about meter reading in your area, call us 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 meter reads will provide the most consistent access to natural gas usage information and help to eliminate the need for estimated bills.

The resulting data analytics and information from automated meter reads will give customers more visibility and control over their energy usage.

How does the two-way communication device work?

Through state-of-the-art technology, the device will transmit gas-usage information using secure licensed radio frequency ranges.

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, Nicor Gas utilizes a private communication network to protect natural gas consumption information.

This frequency is not shared with other utilities and only transmits data over frequency ranges that fully comply with current Federal Communications Commission requirements.

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.