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Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is an automated and efficient meter reading technology that is being implemented across the United States at many water, electric and gas utilities. The RWA is the first water utility in Connecticut to use AMI technology. It allows us to wirelessly gather water usage data for billing purposes, eliminating the need to visit homes and businesses in South Central Connecticut to read meters.
Yes, the RWA will convert all customers to the advanced meter reading devices as part of the system upgrade.
There is no cost for the new water meter, the meter reading device or the installation.
An advanced meter reading device will be installed at your home or business. The device is connected to your water meter and sends a very low-powered signal from your outside water device to the RWA’s office in New Haven. The signal sent by this device will not affect your property, garage door openers or other electrical devices that may be used in your home.
The water meter located inside your home or meter vault mechanically operates as a result of water flowing through the meter. It does not emit any low-frequency signals. Your water meter and the outdoor AMI meter reading device are absolutely safe. Your new meter will communicate water use information with the RWA through a low-frequency radio signal, similar to what is already being used by electric and gas utilities in Connecticut. The radio frequency emissions produced by these meter reading units are minimal compared to cell phones, microwaves, baby monitors, garage door openers, wireless routers and other common devices. Studies of the signals used by AMI meters have found no adverse short- or long-term health effects.
We may be able to convert your present meter reading device located outside your house by using the existing wires. In some cases, an RWA employee will need to go into your basement to connect the wire from your water meter to the new outdoor meter reading device. We will also exchange some older water meters to a model compatible with the new outdoor meter reading device. The RWA installer may need to gain access to your basement in order to exchange the meter and/or connect the wire from your water meter to the new meter reading device. Existing wiring holes will be used whenever possible and, when necessary, a small hole (less than one inch in diameter) will be drilled and properly caulked.
If we need to upgrade your water meter to a newer model, water service will be interrupted for 15 to 20 minutes so that the new water meter can be replaced.
The RWA takes safety very seriously for customers, employees and contractors. Our field service crews will install these meter upgrades. All RWA field staff are required to meet stringent background checks, strict safety guidelines and high standards of professionalism. In addition, all RWA personnel will have RWA identification badges and be driving vehicles showing the RWA logo.
You can schedule an appointment with the RWA by calling 203-562-4020. The RWA technician may need to replace the water meter in your home, so please ensure it is accessible.
AMI will not result in any new or increased charges and in some cases will help you reduce your water bills. Many customers had their AMI meters installed before the summer months, when water use is at its highest. An increase in your water bill after the summer is caused by increased use, not by AMI. Your bills are likely to decrease in the fall and winter.
The signal is low powered and will not disrupt any other signals or control or operate any household appliances.
This technology can enable a number of immediate short-term benefits for the region served by the RWA, including:
The RWA has taken measures to ensure no personally identifiable information will be transmitted or stored at our AMI data portal. Only meter readings and specific meter data are transmitted through the secure AMI gateway to our office in New Haven. Once the encrypted data is received by the RWA, it is integrated for billing purposes, water consumption analysis and water theft prevention. The RWA treats individual customer data as confidential and will not share it with any outside party except pursuant to an order of the court.
The data is only used for the RWA’s customer billing and network monitoring. The AMI system collects hourly water usage information via secure, encrypted hardware and software. The data is secure, protected and safeguarded by RWA customer privacy practices.
An opt-out option is available as a courtesy to our customers. However, some customers will need to have their meters replaced, even if they opt out of the AMI program. The current opt-out fee is $47 per billing period but is subject to change. This fee covers the cost of sending an RWA employee to manually read your meter. Once the AMI system is in place across the RWA’s water district, we will move to monthly billing. The manual reading fee will be applied to each monthly water bill.
The AMI device and your water meter are owned by the RWA. Customers own their exterior water service line that connects their property to the water main, the outside meter pit, the outside water shut-off device and their inside plumbing.