Mayor Aalbers says that the city’s utility customers will have an easier time with monthly billing. The city’s recent switch to monthly from bi-monthly billing was approved by city council on February 25, and Mayor Aalbers says it’ll help most households budget better.
“I believe you’ll find that a lot of households budget on a monthly basis. Now all of the sudden, rather than setting that money aside for the second month when the bill arrives, they’ll get it monthly, just like they get their other bills. I think that’ll make it a lot easier for households to budget on a monthly basis,” says Aalbers.
The switch to monthly comes now that the city has installed automated metering infrastructure (AMI). The technology allows for monthly billing, as well as some new features for water use measurement. Real-time usage data, remote reading, as well as the ability to detect intermittent or continuous water consumption are all available now. Mayor Aalbers says the new technology allows for the city to find leaks faster than before.
“We’ve identified homes, residences and businesses with water issues before they’ve even realized it. The automated system just has so many benefits.”
Aalbers hopes that eventually, an online portal will open for customers to monitor how much water they use. He also believes the automated technology will help increase efficiency on the part of the city’s accounting processes.