Look for the meter reader in blue

by Michael Choe | Dec. 28, 2020

Living in apartments my entire life, I was always curious about the round gadgets I would spot when visiting my friends and relatives who lived in houses. I now know that they’re electric meters and are important for both customers and the electric company. Hawaiian Electric’s meter readers regularly check these meters to monitor electricity usage, which helps determine the monthly electricity bill.

The task is simple, but most times it’s not easy. Meter readers are assigned various routes that they must complete within a day. Binoculars help significantly, but sometimes meters aren’t visible from a distance, and the readers will need to enter the property to get an accurate reading. Vegetation or objects can also obstruct the reader’s view of the meter, or the meter may simply not be easily visible from the street. Because the number on the meter is required monthly in a timely manner, meter readers rarely reschedule or postpone a meter reading for a particular home. This usually happens only under special circumstances.

Oftentimes, meter readers must enter the property to get an accurate reading. If there is a dog on property, we may need to schedule a time to read the meter. For these types of situations, the reader can use a device that can read the meter from a distance.

Regardless of where the meter is or how it’s accessed, our meter readers make sure to respect the customers’ space and privacy. It’s important to note that our meter readers are required to practice social distancing and must wear a face covering and a light blue collared shirt sporting our company logo. If someone claims to be a Hawaiian Electric employee, but isn’t wearing the proper uniform, it may be an impersonator. Do not let the person in your home; call the customer care center for your island:

Oahu: 548–7311
Maui: 871–9777
Molokai/Lanai: 1–877–871–8461 (toll-free)
Hilo:969–6999
Kona: 329–3584
Waimea: 885–4605

For those who aren’t used to seeing our readers, it may be a little jarring when one of them comes up to your home. But we assure you that our meter readers in their powder blue uniform are friendly, respectful and professional. With so many of us working from home these days, they’re probably much more visible when they stop by to read your meter for the month. Just remember, they are working to get you the most accurate reading for your monthly electric bill.

You might even miss them once advanced meters are installed in the near future and meter reading can be done remotely — without an actual person dropping by. Until then, your friendly Hawaiian Electric meter reader will continue to visit your home each month to record your usage.

Michael Choe is a digital communications and social media specialist at Hawaiian Electric.

Our vision is to deliver cost-effective, clean, reliable, and innovative energy services to our customers.