Butler Electric customers are having meters replaced as the department is in the process of upgrading infrastructure to provide better service.
The new meters are being installed in three phases, the first beginning in Kinnelon through Oct. 31, the second from Nov. 1 through Dec. 30 in Bloomingdale and the final phase in Butler from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28.
Butler Electric Superintendent Craig Struble said the meter deployment is being done to streamline meter-reading and enhance billing.
"The major benefit to the electric department is that we will have the ability to get reads automatically without having to send someone out to read the meter," he said. "This keeps monthly billing cycles consistent."
The new meters are expected to reduce the staff needed to read the meters and also assist the department in identifying homes that are without power during a storm. The meters are also being deployed so that the department can meet federal regulation changes with the installation of "smart meters."
The specific system being deployed in Butler is the Aclara Two-Way Automatic Communications System, which will transmit information over existing power lines.
According to the Butler Borough website, the Butler Electric Department has been operating its own utility since the 1900s and is currently a $25 million operation with about 12,000 customers. In addition to Kinnelon, Butler and Bloomingdale, the department services parts of West Milford and Riverdale.
Struble said it is possible that residential customers will notice when their meters are being installed.
"Residents will experience a brief loss of power while their old meter is removed and replaced with the new meter," he said.
The loss of power should be no longer than a minute or two, though, as that is how long it should take for the new meter to be installed.
The borough has also advised that residents who are home when the technicians arrive are able to request a new changeout date and time, which the department will try to accomodate. However, since so many customers' meters are being changed, the department is unable to predict exact dates and times each individual customer can expect their meter changed.
For more information, visit the Butler Electric Department's notice on the borough website here.