Meter Recycling Helps People & the Environment

May 8, 2017 11:00 AM ET

New smart meters are being installed throughout the Duke Energy service territories.

These new meters can collect the same data as the old ones, but unlike the old meters that were read once a month, smart meters relay data hourly, giving customers more insight into their energy usage than ever before.

Great innovation. But what happens to the old meters?

Nearly every day for the last several months, a team of employees at the 160,000-square-foot Goodwill Opportunity Campus in Charlotte has been dismantling old meters and parsing their pieces into recycling bins. Eventually, the work could grow to 1 million meters a year. 

For the Goodwill team, the work is clean, environmentally sound and appreciated by those seeking employment. Plus, it advances the Goodwill mission of helping people reach their potential in the workplace.

The contract between Duke Energy and Goodwill began in June 2016 with the hiring of about a halfdozen employees, who now dismantle about 2,500 meters a day. As Duke Energy’s upgrade expands, the workforce could grow to nine employees moving 4,500 meters a day, with a payroll that could eventually total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Gaining employment and learning new skills are just a few of the positives this program provides for employees.

The skills learned on the floor go beyond simple meter deconstructing. The employees must report on time, be productive and learn teamwork – skills that will make them attractive to future employers.

Learn more in Duke Energy's 2016 Sustainability Report.