Columbia Gas To Nix Estimates, Bill Customers For What They Use

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Columbia Gas customers will now pay for the exact amount of gas they use.

Until now, meter readers have gone from house to house every other month collecting data. Months when workers didn’t read the meters, customers would receive bills based on estimates of use.

But in the past two years, Columbia Gas workers added a new device to each of the 517,000 meters to allow an exact billing.

The device responds to a radio signal emitted from a van that will drive by gas customers.

“The computer on board he vehicle will receive a signal from these automated meter reading devices,” Columbia Gas Spokesman Ken Stammen said. “As simple as that, we’ll have accurate data every month to calculate your bill.”

The new technology is good news for gas customer Ric Grubaugh. He said the device will allow him do a better job of tracking how much gas he uses, especially in the winter.

“I think it's a great idea,” Grubaugh said. “It would be easier for them and a lot easier for the homeowner.”

Stammen said that the new technology will cost customers an extra 45-cents per month. All of Ohio will be on the system by the end of 2013.

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