• Smart Meters to the Rescue for Niagara-on-the-Lake

    Niagara-on-the-Lake Water Billing A fairly disconcerting article came out this week, concerning a water billing dilemma for Niagara-on-the-Lake. After overcharging Seneca Manufacturing nearly $120,000 on account of a missing decimal point, the town discovered an estimated $662,000/yr in under-registered water usage caused by old, dysfunctional meters.

    For years, to compensate for this loss, residents have dealt with raised charges, which, for new neighbourhoods, means some residents pay much more than others for water. Last year, to test the extent of the problem, city workers surveyed 50 meters (20 years of age or more) and discovered that only 8 offered an accurate reading within 5%. To date, 3,000 of the 6,000 problematic meters have been replaced, but moving forward, the city needs to spend $1.5 million in order to implement Smart Meters and put this issue to rest.

    Smart Meters offer much more than just accurate readings — they also pinpoint leaks inside and outside of homes, preventing water waste and other associated damages. The Ontario Government re-introduced Smart Meters in November as both an environmental and economic initiative. One of the main perks put forth by the province is that Smart Meters enable time-of-use pricing, indicating off-peak, mid-peak, and on-peak performance times so that residents and businesses may monitor and manage usage during these times. With this in mind, although swapping meters will cost the city a substantial upfront sum of money, officials anticipate that the investment will be made back in only two years’ time.

    Categories: Niagara Development

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