NASHVILLE, TN — Every month, Nashville Electric Service (NES) meter readers read more than 325,000 meters, rain or shine. A meter reader may walk as many as 12 to 14 miles a day and read up to 1,700 meters. And they also encounter the occasional unfriendly dog or other hindrance.
So how well do NES’ 31 meter readers perform their jobs?
NES recently participated in a benchmarking study by Ascent Group, Inc. to assess performance in meter reading. The study compared NES’ performance against the Ascent Group’s database of meter reading benchmark metrics and practices. It found that in all categories but one NES meter readers outperform even the “best performers,” and they consistently outperform electric industry averages.
Four areas were compared in the benchmarking study: percentage of meter reading errors, cost per meter read, percent of skipped meters, and number of meters read per employee.
The study found that NES’ percent of meter reading errors is significantly lower than that of “best performers” and industry average. NES’ percent of meter reading errors for total meters read is 0.05%, compared to 0.10% for best performers and 0.30% for industry average.
In addition, NES’ cost per meter read is significantly lower than the “best performers” and industry average. NES cost per meter read is 47 cents, compared to the best performer average of 63 cents and industry average of 70 cents.
NES also performed well in percent of skipped meters at 0.2% compared to 0.4% for best performers and 5.5% for the industry average. The number of meters read per month per employee is better than industry average, 10,082 for NES compared to 6,382 for the rest of the industry, while best performers read 12,182 meters per employee per month.