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Getting Smarter and Working Together
City of Toledo Public Utilities is committed to providing our customers with affordable access to a safe and sustainable drinking water system. We are modernizing our operations and technology infrastructure to improve our customers’ experience. Part of this initiative is the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project to replace 116,000 water meters across the region over the next two years.
Working with our customers is the best way to reduce water use, improve the reliability and sustainability of our water system, and minimize cost. Smart meters provide a foundation for strong collaboration with our customers. Smart-meter customers have the tools and information to help save water, save money, and ensure a better water future.
Water Meter Upgrades Coming to Toledo!
Learn more about the benefits you can expect from your new, upgraded meter.
What are smart meters?
Smart meters are water meters that measure and communicate water usage to the City of Toledo’s Department of Public Utilities without requiring a manual read. They are a key component of our new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system.
When will I get my smart meter?
The department will replace 126,000 analog water meters with smart meters across residences and businesses beginning this summer. Customers will receive their first notice to schedule one month before work begins in their neighborhood.
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Will I be notified before the installation takes place?
Yes. Smart meters will be installed in phases across the city. One month before installation, residents will be notified by letter with information on how to schedule a meter replacement at their convenience. Customers will receive follow up scheduling postcards. As responses are received, installation appointments will be scheduled for residents.
If no response is received after the third notification, a call will be made to the customer and they will have 5 days to respond or be eligible for water shut-off.
Why is the city installing smart meters? What are the benefits?
The city is in the process of upgrading its technology to better serve customers. Smart meters offer several benefits for both customers and the city, including more detailed water usage information and the ability to address issues more quickly and effectively. The new smart meters help us operate more efficiently and pass on benefits to customers, including the following:
- Improved customer service and support.
- Eliminating estimated billing.
- Detailed hourly usage data captured from the previous day is available to customers online.
- Data to help resolve billing and usage questions.
- Faster service for customers who open and close accounts.
- Better data allows staff to plan, construct, and optimize the water distribution system.
- Ability to measure and target new water conservation programs.
How does the city know these meters are accurate?
The meters are tested by the manufacturers and comply with the American Water Works Association standards.
Is my privacy secure?
Yes, measures are in place to ensure your information is secure and always kept safe through data encryption.
How does the AMI system work?
It uses a radio network to transmit customer usage data, allowing electronic reading and eliminating the need for visual inspection.
What do I need to do to prepare?
A few simple ideas to help streamline the installation process:
- Inform family or tenants of the installation time and date.
- Leave areas adjacent to meter locations free and clear.
- Secure pets away from the water meter.
What will change with my new meter?
Once installed, it may be several weeks before your smart meter is fully activated, but your usage will still be measured and available from the meter visually. This delay will allow time to ensure the system is fully functional and the meter is communicating reliably with the city’s data network.
How can I access the data provided by the new meters?
Users will have access online to their own detailed usage information.
How long will this new device work?
The life expectancy of the devices installed in the field is 20 years. Periodic inspection and maintenance will be performed to ensure all devices are performing as expected.
Who will install the AMI device?
The city has selected Johnson Controls Industries as the provider of all digital meters and related metering network equipment. Johnson Controls will work with subcontractors for the actual installation in businesses and residents’ homes.
In addition to carrying proper identification, installers will be wearing vests and driving vehicles clearly marked with the City of Toledo and Johnson Controls logos. Installers will also be screened for COVID-19 symptoms daily, wear personal protective equipment and practice social distancing.
How is the installation done and how long does it take?
During installation, Johnson Controls and its subcontractors, working on behalf of the city of Toledo, will interrupt water service for approximately 60 minutes at each customer’s location. Before leaving the property, crews will run 10 gallons through the system to verify positive consumption and open a faucet within the location to flush out any sediment.
Will the AMI device’s radio signals affect the operation of electronic devices in my home?
No, the device’s radio signal is similar but significantly weaker than that of a cordless phone.
Will I be charged for this new service?
No, there is no additional cost for the new smart meter.
Will the new device affect my bill?
Installation of the AMI transmitter will not affect your bill. In some instances, if your water meter needs to be replaced, a new meter is more accurate than the old meter, so your bill may change to reflect the accurate measurement of your water use.