SWBNO Begins Smart Meter- Based Billing

With over 12,000 smart meters installed to date, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) has begun issuing smart meter-based bills to customers who have received their meter upgrades. SWBNO is issuing Continuous Use Letters to customers whose new smart meter detects a constant flow of running water on their property, which could indicate a potential leak.

“This new technology not only ensures customers receive accurate bills that reflect actual water use moving forward, but it also enables us to notify customers of potential leaks before they impact customers’ bills,” said Executive Director Ghassan Korban. 

For most customers, the transitional smart meter bill will include data from the old mechanical meter combined with data from the new smart meter, depending on when the smart meter was installed during the billing cycle. Subsequent bills will include only smart meter data.

SWBNO advises customers that the new smart meters will measure water use more precisely and this could impact customer bills. Many older mechanical meters are beyond their expected useful life, which has caused them to lose accuracy over time and often results in under-recorded water use. 

The new smart meters can accurately measure water moving through customers’ pipes—even smaller amounts of water that older meters may have missed. The new meters will reflect actual customer use, customers whose old meter under read their water use could experience a bill increase.

“It’s important to note that all customers use water differently, so impacts will vary from customer to customer,” said Korban. “Some may see bill increases while others may see decreases.”

Later this year, customers will also have access to an advanced customer portal. Along with their smart meter, the portal will provide water use details and account management tools that will empower customers to have more control over their water use and, ultimately, their water bills.

Customers can learn more about smart meter billing in this video. Information on how to conserve water and possibly lower your bill is available at www.swbno.org/ConservationTips.

For more information on the Smart Metering Program, visit www.swbno.org/Projects/SmartMetering.

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