AMR Frequently Asked Questions
General AMR Questions
What is AMR?
The installation of a citywide Automated Meter Reading (AMR) network is an important next step in the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s comprehensive transformation of its Bureau of Customer Services. AMR systems consist of small, low-power radio transmitters connected to individual water meters that send readings to a network of rooftop receivers throughout the city. DEP’s system leverages the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication’s (DoITT’s) New York City Wireless Network (NYCWiN).
How does AMR work?
DEP will attach a small device to the side of your property that automatically transmits readings to electronic data receivers throughout the city. These receivers provide DEP with all relevant billing information and eliminate the need for water meter readers to visit your property.
How do I know my bill is accurate?
The AMR system ensures that customers are billed based on their actual water consumption; not an estimate. AMR meter readings come from the same meter measurement device read in the past by DEP staff. The advantage of an AMR device is that it can provide you with readings on a daily basis. This means more information to help you take control of your water bill by identifying costly leaks.
What does DEP do to ensure that my bill is accurate?
DEP maintains a staff of quality assurance professionals to ensure the accuracy of your bill. Unusual billing spikes are flagged by our Customer Information System and reviewed before they are mailed. If the meter reading is in question, DEP will issue you an estimated bill until accurate readings are available. Customers who believe that their bill is inaccurate may submit a formal appeal. Once submitted, DEP staff will manually verify the accuracy of your bill and provide you with a written response.
Can AMR change my meter readings?
No, your AMR device cannot change your meter readings. As a one way transmission device, it does not have the ability to affect the device inside the water meter that measures your consumption.
Does AMR equipment meet industry and Federal standards?
Yes. AMR technology is designed to function at very low power levels and is in widespread use throughout the utility industry. We only use AMR equipment that has been tested and is compliant with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Federal Communication Commission (FCC) standards. Similar systems are already used by many other major cities, including Boston, Dallas, Detroit and Washington, D.C.
What are the benefits of AMR?
- AMR eliminates the need to estimate your bill.
- The My DEP Account website lets you track your consumption from the comfort of your own home and can alert you to costly leaks.
- AMR eliminates the need for a water meter reader to visit your premises.
- AMR ensures that you receive an accurate bill.
- AMR is a less expensive way to read water meters, especially those where monthly readings may be difficult or inconvenient. It is efficient, accurate, and has reduced DEP’s costs, which results in lower water and sewer rates for our customers.
- AMR allows DEP to more closely monitor citywide consumption and more effectively manage the city’s water supply system.
How will AMR affect my bill?
AMR will eliminate estimated bills and increase billing accuracy. AMR can also help alert you to household leaks so you are able to fix them before they affect your bill any further. You will continue to receive your water and sewer bills in the mail in accordance with your normal billing schedule.
Will DEP need access to my home?
DEP may need to enter your home, depending on where your current water meter is installed; and we may need to temporarily shut off your water. In addition, old water meters may need to be replaced before an AMR transmitter can be properly installed. DEP will pay for these replacements.
How long will the installation take?
Installation of the transmitter will take around 30 minutes.
What happens during the installation?
For a walkthrough of what to expect during the installation of the transmitter click here.
What are the benefits of AMR to DEP?
- AMR increases customer satisfaction by ensuring that bills are based on actual usage.
- AMR provides customers with the ability to see their own consumption within six hour blocks of time. Leak detection email alerts can customers save money on their bills.
Will AMR interfere with TV, personal computers, or other electronic equipment?
No. AMR equipment is outside your building in most cases and operates on a low-power frequency band reserved specifically for this purpose. It is highly unlikely to interfere with the operation of any other electronic equipment.
Does the AMR transmitter run on my home's electricity?
No, AMR transmitters run on batteries with a 20 year lifespan.
My DEP Account Online Application Questions
Does DEP offer online tutorials for using My DEP Account?
Yes. The following tutorials are available in our How to Get Started section:
- Register My DEP Account
- Edit My DEP Account
- Pay Your Water and Sewer Bill
- View Your Bill
- View Your Water Use
- Enroll for Services
To browse our video tutorials click here
How do I register to see my water usage online?
Registering to access your AMR is quick and easy. From our homepage click on the My DEP Account button and complete the simple registration process to create a user account. Then you’re on the My DEP Account website.
Why are there no reads, just estimates on certain times or days?
More than 99% of all AMR readings are received without disruption. However, there are times when DEP is unable to receive the water meter’s signal. On these rare occurrences, the consumption graph will either indicate “Read not Available” or an average consumption will be displayed based on the next reading that is received. Because the AMR system sends daily water meter readings, isolated disruptions will not affect your water bill. If there are no reads for more than a week, please call our call center at (718) 595-7000 to schedule an appointment.
Why are my meter reads taken at different times of the day?
AMR water meter readings are taken at different times of the day to ensure that radio frequencies are transmitted and received properly.
Can I monitor another person’s water usage online?
When a friend or relative sets up their account on the AMR website, they can delegate you as an authorized user. All they will need is your email address. Once they have delegated access to you, the system will automatically notify you via email. This email will provide you with a username and password that will allow you to monitor water consumption.
What are some actions I can take to conserve more water?
For helpful information about Water Conservation, please visit Conservation Programs. DEP can also provide you with a Water Conservation Kit that contains dye tablets to check for leaks from toilet tanks. The kit includes water saver shower heads, faucet aerators, and toilet flush reducers.
How can I use the AMR website to check for leaks?
You should look at the ‘Daily Usage for Month’ on the Water Consumption tab. This chart shows your daily use for any designated month. From here, you can see if there is any unusual change in water usage. Leaks are often progressive and can show up as a steady increase in daily usage. You can also look at the ‘Hourly Usage by Day’ chart. If you see that water usage is displayed during times you know that no water is being used on the property, this is a good indication that there may be a leak.