Location of Customer Meters
The meter that measures the transfer of natural gas from the company to the consumer is critical in establishing the safety of the delivery system and usage by the customer. The placement of the meter is important in maintaining safety for the facility it serves and the public. Most distribution pipeline operators view the meter as the point at which ownership and maintenance responsibilities change—the piping beyond the meter is owned by the customer, and therefore their responsibility.
Natural gas distribution operators seek to follow building codes when placing a meter. However, at times this does not always look aesthetically pleasing to the customer and they may request the meter set be moved away from the premise or hidden where it is not viewed. In some cases, customers and land developers engage in creative landscaping, do-it-yourself projects to cover meters, or place the meters in areas where they cannot be seen near the facility for visual purposes. This action often times sacrifices safety.
It is important that government officials be aware of the building code requirements and how they relate to natural gas service. Government
representatives like building code inspectors, permitting agencies and compliance officers can play a role in supporting distribution operators with proper placement of meters. Activities can include asking simple questions to anyone seeking a permit for building like “Are you planning on serving this home, facility or business with natural gas?” If the response is yes, the representative can inquire as to where the meter will be placed.
Government agencies should watch for meter placement code violations.
Operators want to place meters as close as possible to the facility being served. This helps to ensure:
• Leak surveys will be conducted all the way to the facility and additional maintenance and monitoring will be conducted by the natural gas service.
Government officials can make a difference in limiting the distance between a meter and a facility and helping address the issues associated with creative landscaping. For more information on meter placement or location distribution safety, contact your local natural gas distribution provider.