FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE10-86
September 9, 2010
Farrell Sklerov / Mike Saucier (718) 595-6600
DEP Launches AMR Online in Staten Island
Wireless Meter Unit Installed at Borough President James P. Molinaro's Home; Wireless Meters Will Help Staten Island Residents Better Manage Water Use
Environmental Protection today kicked off the start of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Online this week in Staten Island at the home of Borough President James P. Molinaro, where a wireless meter unit was installed today. DEP has already installed more than 452,000 wireless meter units – 44,870 in Staten Island – putting the agency ahead of schedule to connect all 835,000 customers by January 2012. Wireless water meters transmit water consumption data at least four times per day and will end the use of estimated water bills, giving water customers more accurate and timely records of their water use. AMR Online – launched by Mayor Bloomberg in July – is a new web tool that allows homeowners and businesses to track their consumption online in realtime. The online system enables water customers to manage their water consumption to reduce water bills and detect leaks more quickly.
"Wireless meter reading will give our 835,000 customers the information they need to make smart decisions about water use, including data to help them detect leaks or consumption anomalies that, left unaddressed, could cost them hundreds or even thousands of dollars." said Commissioner Holloway. "Mayor Bloomberg has made it a priority to bring new technology to City government to improve customer service and make government more accessible. Online wireless water meter reading does exactly that, giving our customers the power to see their water use every day, and make informed decisions for their families. So what better place to kick off AMR Online in Staten Island than at the home of its borough president, James Molinaro. The Borough President and all Staten Island customers with wireless meters now will be able to log on to www.nyc.gov/dep to get reliable and accurate measurements of their water use and what it costs in real time."
"This equipment will bring Staten Island customers into the 21st century," said Borough President Molinaro. "By enabling people to detect leaks well before they are hit with a huge bill, residents will be able to manage their water use in the smartest, most efficient way possible."
Water customers with wireless water meters can now track water usage online. All water customers in New York City are expected to have wireless meters – and real-time, online access to their water bills – by January 2012, with between 7,000 and 9,000 customers added to the network each week. New York City will be the largest City in the world to utilize wireless water meters citywide once installation is complete. Customers with wireless meters already installed can sign up for AMR Online at www.nyc.gov/dep.
Customers with wireless water meters using the online tracking tool will be able to see the dollar value of the water they have used as they use it, and view past billing and payment history. Most customers connected to the wireless network receive meter readings four times per day, with certain large buildings receiving information hourly. Information on usage will be available by day, week, month, year, and billing period, with the ability for the customer to compare usage during those time frames.
The wireless Automated Meter Reading system consists of small, low-power radio transmitters connected to individual water meters that send readings every six hours to a network of rooftop receivers throughout the City. The total cost of citywide installation is $252 million. The meter reading receivers are part of the New York City Wireless Network, administered by Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.
The wireless system will reduce the cost of City government by substantially reducing billing disputes and other costly aspects of the quarterly billing system that we are phasing-out as AMR goes live, and eliminating the need for a meter-reading contract that costs the City more than $3.6 million a year. It is also help DEP to increase water bill collection rates, so DEP can make sure that those who can afford to pay their bills actually pay.
The City's PlaNYC long-term sustainability goals will be bolstered through the use of wireless readers and online tracking by promoting water conservation and providing City government with better data for use in conservation and system planning initiatives.
DEP manages the City's water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. New York City's water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the City, and comprises 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,400 miles of sewer lines take wastewater to 14 in-City treatment plants.