March 24, 2009 By News Report
"This program is the first in a series of initiatives leveraging this state-of-the-art network on a citywide scale, creating significant cost savings for taxpayers and agencies alike." -- Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave (pictured)
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Steven W. Lawitts and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave announced today that citywide installation of automated water meter reading technology has begun. The new wireless equipment will end the use of estimated water bills, giving homeowners and small businesses more accurate and timely records of usage -- increasing their ability to identify how they can conserve water and reduce water bills. According to a release from the Mayor's Office, even modest reductions in water consumption could save residents more than $90 million annually and could support the retention or creation of more than 550 jobs in New York City through increased economic activity from homeowner savings and increased available cash flow for businesses. The program will also provide savings for the city by increasing collection rates and eliminating the expense of paying for meters to be individually read. New York City will be the largest city in the world to use wireless water metering.
"This is another prime example of bringing new technology to city government to improve services -- and in this case we will potentially save New Yorkers millions of dollars a year," said Bloomberg. "The new system will read water meters four times a day instead of four times a year, giving homeowners and small businesses a clearer picture of their water use so they can look for ways to conserve. A modest reduction in water use of just five to 10 percent could reduce water bills by $90 million a year across the city."
"This is a more accurate way to read meters and show customers their exact water consumption so they can conserve and more efficiently manage their bill, especially in these uncertain economic times," said Lawitts. "We have worked hard to improve customer service, and this technology will ensure that bills are more accurate and will eliminate, with rare exceptions, the need to estimate some bills that are inaccurate and subject to later adjustment and surprises for customers."
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