The installation of its 5 millionth meter is the latest milestone for the Gas Meter Shop which has been at the center of New Jersey’s natural gas storied history delivering natural gas to our customers.
Through the years, the shop’s crew has adjusted to changes in technology, customer lifestyles and even pandemics.
The facility that is known today as the Gas Meter Shop opened in 1953 in Springfield, New Jersey. It consolidated the work of 23 shops that had been repairing individual meters. The evolution of cleaner natural gas and improvements in metering technology over time led to a decrease in the need to repair meters and a significant expansion of the meter shop’s work.
When the facility opened as the “State Meter Shop,” New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ rules required PSE&G to replace meters every six years. This meant replacing 200,000 meters a year. Another 25,000 meters a year were removed or changed out because of damage or construction. As the years went on, cleaner natural gas became more popular and fewer deposit collected in the meters making them last longer. By 1975, the NJBPU revised its rules to allow PSE&G to replace meters on a sampling basis reducing the average to 75,000 meters each year.
As repair work decreased over the years, the Gas Meter Shop took on additional work such as repairing instruments including gas testers, pipe locators, pneumatic tools and other electronic instruments. In 1983, a system of barcoding to monitor and track meters at the facility named COSMO became operational. This system remained unique in the industry until Minnegasco and Baltimore Gas & Electric introduced similar systems.
During the 1980’s, distribution system measurement technology mushroomed, as higher energy costs sparked renewed customer concern for accurate billing, and the emergence of two-wage-earner families led to a demand for remote meter reading devices.
In today’s environmentally sensitive times, the gas industry continues to evolve due to economic, customer and regulatory demands. PSE&G’s Gas Meter Shop has been here for sixty-eight years and looks forward to continuously improving its operation to be a technology leader going forward into the future.
Normally, a million meter milestone is marked by painting the meter gold before installing it in a customer’s home or business. And then the Gas Meter Shop waits for that meter to return to Springfield after its tour of duty.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 5 millionth meter was pulled from stock, painted gold and placed in the local display case that houses unique meters from the history of the Gas Meter Shop.