Fathers for Life

Working in the interests of the owners of rural electric services 

| Home | Search | In The News | Contact Us | Share

Site Map
Table of Contents
Alternative Energy Sources
Contacting the Bruderheim REA
Deregulation of the Electricity Industry
E-mail List-Server
Energy Purchase Contracts (Electricity only) Price Comparison
Energy Utilities Board
Gas Meters
Global Warming Explained
Links Page
PC Tips
Pole-testing, pole-changes and line work
Popular Pages
Tips on Energy Savings


You are visitor

at the website of the Bruderheim REA since March 27, 2002


Gas meters need to be tested

Gas meters need to be tested

Just yesterday we spoke to one of our friends, Elsie Sarafinchan, in Smoky Lake County.  She had thought that she needed to have her gas meter tested, because it has not been replaced for 16 years.  When the gas company came out to replace her meter, her son Darrel Basaraba insisted that he would take the old meter in to the city to have it tested.
   Sure enough, the gas meter has not been measuring accurately, and as a result of that, Elsie Sarafinchan got a refund of $672 from the gas company.

When is the last time your meter got checked out?  You do have the right to have it replaced with a tested meter and to have to existing meter checked for accuracy.
   If you were to use the standards issued by the Illinois Commerce Commission, you would be entitled to have your meter taken out for testing, free of charge, provided the meter was not tested within the preceding 12 months.  If a discrepancy is found, Illinois Customers are entitled to a refund for the total of the discrepancy, applied to their consumption during the previous six months.
   Illinois customers have the right to demand a refereed test, for which then special procedures are used when taking out the meter to be tested and to supervise the tests that are being run.  However, to obtain a refereed test a fee must first be paid.

Illinois Gas Meter Accuracy Testing

The following is an excerpt from an Illinois Commerce Commission report.



September 2001

Text of full report (43 kB MS-Word document)

Commission Rules

   The meter on a gas customer’s service and the gas bill associated with it are the most direct connection the utility has with its customers.  The Commission is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that utilities provide accurate metering to their customers.   To meet this responsibility, the Commission adopted certain minimum standards in 83 Illinois Administrative Code 500 that all gas utilities must follow for testing the accuracy of their meters.

   Code Part 500, Sections 180 through 215, contain the Commission’s minimum standards that all natural gas utilities must use to operate their meter testing facilities and to test their in-service meters.   Code Part 500 also requires authorized representatives of the Commission to check the utilities’ compliance with the above requirements at least every three years.   Below is a summary of the various Commission requirements and the actions the Commission takes to verify gas utility compliance.

   The Commission requires all new or repaired gas meters, when installed, to operate no more than two percent slow and not more than one percent fast.  The Commission allows customers concerned about the accuracy of their meters to request the utility to remove the meter and test its accuracy without charge, provided the meter in question was not previously tested within one year of the request.   Customers also have the option of requesting a Commission referee test.  A referee test requires a representative of the Commission to oversee the removal and testing of the customer’s meter.  However, the customer must make a written application and pay a prescribed fee to the Commission for this service.  If the utility finds the accuracy of the meter to exceed two percent fast, then the utility reimburses the customer for the fee paid to the Commission.

   The Commission requires all gas utilities to issue refunds to customers whose meters are more than four percent fast.  The refund is based on the prior six months of readings from that meter.   If the meter is more than four percent slow, then the utility has the option of rendering a bill to the customer for the amount not recorded for the prior six months.

   Most gas companies employ sample testing to verify the accuracy of their in-service residential gas meters.  Sample testing involves grouping meters in lots that consist of the same type, manufacturer, and size of meters, based upon their year of installation.  After a meter lot has been in service for nine years, the utility removes and tests randomly selected meters from the lot each year.  If a meter’s accuracy is found to be more than three percent fast or slow, then the meter is considered to fail the accuracy test.  If enough meters within the sample fail the accuracy test, then the utility must remove and test the entire meter lot.   The Commission does not allow utilities that do not employ sample testing to keep a meter in-service longer than ten years without an accuracy test.

   At the end of each year, the Commission verifies that each utility performs accuracy tests on all of the meters that required testing.  On a three-year cycle, the Commission physically audits the operations of utility meter testing shops.  During the audit, the Commission verifies all the meter testing shop equipment has up to date certification to national standards and that the utility is in compliance with all Commission testing and record keeping requirements.  The Commission maintains its own meters to verify the accuracy of utility testing equipment.   Utilities must maintain their testing equipment to within one-half of one percent accuracy.

If you need to get in touch with the Illinois Commerce Commision because you live in Illinois and feel that you need to have your gas meter tested, here is a link to their web page that contains the contact details you need.

The Illinois Commerce Commission maintains a web page that permits you to access various consumer information relating to utilities in Illinois.

Posted 2002 03 27
2007 10 22 (added contact information for Illinois Commerce Commission)