The primary function of the meter department is to maintain revenue metering installations at the high level of accuracy and reliability as specified by company and regulatory requirements. This usually involves the installation, testing, operation, and maintenance of meters and metering systems.
Additional functions, which vary with individual companies, may include: appliance repair, connection of services, testing of rubber protective equipment, stocking and tracking metering equipment, operation of standards laboratories, manual meter reading, automated meter reading, interval data retrieval and processing, installation and maintenance of advanced meter options, acceptance testing of material and equipment, instrument calibration and repair, investigation of customer complaints, revenue protection and metering security, installation and maintenance of load survey and load management equipment, relay testing and high-voltage testing.
Although possibly quite removed from metering, these and many similar functions may become the responsibility of the meter department predominantly for two reasons: first, the direct association of the work with metering, as in the case of meter reading, and, second, the characteristic ability of meter personnel to translate their knowledge and techniques to other fields requiring detailed electrical knowledge and specialized skills, as in the case of operation of standards laboratories, and instrument repair.
The electric meter, since it generally serves as the basis for customer billing, must be installed, maintained, tested, and calibrated to assure accuracy of registration.
To accomplish this, the accuracy of all test equipment must be traceable through suitable intermediate standards to the basic and legal standards of electrical measurement maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Quality of workmanship and adherence to procedures must be consistently maintained at a level which will achieve this desired accuracy.
Poor workmanship or deviation from procedures can have a serious effect on both the customer and the company.
Standards, procedures, and instructions are essential to insure uniformity of operations, to prevent errors, and for overall safety and economy.