Deadline noon TODAY: Consumer advocates are raising concerns about proposals by two Wisconsin utilities that would allow fewer inspections of natural gas meters.
When the Public Service Commission authorized installation of advanced meters more than 10 years ago, the commission expressed concerns about no longer having a person check the meter once a month and ordered the utilities to do annual inspections.
Alliant argues the yearly inspections are unnecessary and have cost about $4.4 million more over the past decade than doing three-year inspections. Xcel notes that annual surveys aren’t required by state or federal law and estimates it could save about $135,000 a year by doing them less frequently.
The Citizens Utility Board, which represents utility customer interests, is urging utility customers to contact the PSC about Alliant’s and Xcel’s requests.
CUB executive director Tom Content said the proposed change would save utilities little money and could allow problems to fester for years, and the public would never know about them.
“They found thousands of problems every year,” Content said. “The only reason we know about those problems is because of the reporting requirement.”
Comment at: http://apps.psc.wi.gov/vs2015/ERF/comment/filecomment.aspx?util=4220&case=CG&num=136