In some cases, this process can present a challenge. Plants, debris, fenced areas around meters that are locked, or snow can create barriers that keep readers from getting close enough to read your meter. Household pets can also present a challenge.
Please provide safe access to your meter
By using LPC utilities, a property gives consent for us to enter in order to read the meter. City code requires that they provide safe access to read the meter.
We have to go where the meter is. On newer homes, that’s now required to be in the front quarter of the property (and unfenced), but in many properties, it may mean entering the backyard.
If we can’t enter a yard due to a lock (or a dog), the water or electric bill will have to be estimated based on the property’s history.
Scheduling a meter reading appointment
With about 72,000 meters to read, it’s not practical to schedule individual appointments. A customer can get an idea of the range of time we will be there from the utility bill, but the read day can and does vary by several days.
Don't want us on your property? We offer meters that can be remotely read as well!
We can install an ERT (encoder receiver transmitter) meter that can be read remotely -click here to learn more about costs and details.
Below are some ideas for ways to make meters more accessible:
- Relocate obstacles such as wood, storage cabinets, vehicles, and debris away from the meter area.
- Avoid covering the water meter pit with yard decor or ground cover.
- Plant landscaping such as trees, shrubs, and foliage so when fully grown, they are at least three feet from the meter.
- Regularly trim landscaping and existing vegetation to within three feet of the meter to maintain access to the meter.
- Consider fencing or other measures that will prevent dogs from accessing the meter area as well as the path to the meter. Even a friendly dog may react unexpectedly to a stranger entering the yard.
- Either unlock gates or place a combination lock on the gate, accessible from the outside of the gate and provide LPC with the combination. Combination numbers are kept secure and only used by utility employees.
- In winter, remove ice and snow from the access way to the meter.
- When shoveling snow from walks and driveways, avoid covering the water meter, which is often located in a pit in the front yard.
Don't Let Family Pets Come Between You and Your Meter Reader
Occasionally, household pets can present a challenge to having a meter read. Some dogs aren’t receptive to people coming close to their property, or may escape fenced areas when a reader opens a gate. When this happens, they become a barrier to having your meter read and your account will be estimated based on previous billing history.
Electronic meter reading systems are a good choice for customers who don’t want to have a meter reader enter their property each month. While City Code (14.32.210 – Meters, paragraph C) requires all customers to provide access to the City’s metering equipment, an electronic meter collects a read from a distance.
If this option is chosen, we will install an encoder receiver transmitter (ERT) meter. The one-time fee can be added to your utility bill which covers the cost of equipment and installation. Payment options are available.
Residential electric ERT meter (200 amps & under)
Residential water ERT meter installed inside the residence (basement or crawl space)
Residential water ERT meter installed in a water meter pit
*Charges may be waived when installed as part of scheduled water meter replacement program.
The City of Longmont’s water utility conducts a water meter maintenance program to replace residential water meters as needed. All replacement water meters are electronic.
Marking your meter
- Meter readers mark sidewalks every year to identify where the water meter pit is located when leaves, snow and ice cover the pit.
- The markings help the readers uncover the pit to obtain an accurate read during the fall and winter months.
- The readers will paint two short black marks on either side of the sidewalk in line with the water meter pit.
City of Longmont staff can answer any questions you may have about keeping meter reading areas cleared or obtaining electronic meter reading equipment. For more information, contact Longmont Power & Communications.