A City of Palo Alto Meter Reader reads between 500 and 1,200 water, gas, and electric utilities meters daily over a pre-determined route. Ensures the accuracy of readings entered into a hand-held data entry terminal. Interacts with customers to gain access to their premises and answers questioned as required. Assists Customer Service Representatives with routine customer service clerical tasks as required and as time away from primary meter-reading duties permits. Performs minor water-meter maintenance tasks. Reports abnormal or suspicious meter conditions or usage patterns to Supervisor or to Lead Meter Reader.
Please note that while the Utilities Department has not made a formal decision to specify and install advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) in the field, meter reading may be negatively impacted in the long-term.
Working Conditions and Ideal Candidate
Meter Readers must possess a high degree of independence and motivation as they work outside the office driving a City vehicle reading an assigned route. Physical stamina is also important as Meter Readers may walk between 8 and 12 miles daily, depending upon the assigned route, and must be able to carry the hand-held computer, a rod for opening meter covers, a flashlight, and other equipment; they must also be able to bend, stoop, and kneel frequently and regularly to lift meter covers that may weigh between 3 and 25 pounds. A Meter Reader must be able to learn rudimentary data entry tasks as readings are entered into hand-held computers. Basic knowledge of Microsoft Office is highly desired.
Duties take Meter Readers into citizens' properties and occasionally into their premises; it is absolutely essential that a Meter Reader has unimpeachable honesty, a high level of regard for customers' privacy and a significant degree of politeness. Oral communication skills are also important as Meter Readers often receive questions about utility bills, rates, meter reading accuracy, and other subjects from customers.
This is a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) position.
Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Drives a City-owned vehicle to, from, and to various locations along the day's route.
Walks along a predetermined route of varying length (typically 8 to 10 miles per day, with occasional routes of up to 12 miles), reading water, gas, and electric meters, both analog and digital.
Resets electric Demand Meters as required.
Enters meter readings, access information, trouble codes, and other data into hand-held computers designed specifically for meter reading tasks.
Performs occasional minor water-meter maintenance tasks (e.g., meter glass replacement and cleaning).
Reports hazardous circumstances (e.g., dangerous meter locations, vicious or dangerous animals, abnormal utilities - especially natural gas - consumption patterns, gas odors, exposed electrical wiring, open or broken water or curb gas meter boxes, etc.) to Supervisor so that condition can be remedied.
Answers customers' questions
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Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities which would typically be acquired through:
Completion of a high school academic, vocational, or business program and
Two years of work experience in a position involving facility with numbers, a basic mechanical aptitude, and personal public contact.
A valid California Driver's License, without any DUI convictions.
Sufficient physical stamina to walk long distances at a moderately rapid pace in all weather conditions, to lift moderately heavy objects for short periods, and to bend, stoop, and kneel frequently throughout the day.
Vision correctable to 20/30 in both eyes.
Ability to interact with dogs without fear or hesitation when entering resident homes.
A professional and business-like appearance.