PSC approval granted for Madison Water Utility's opt-out policy

October 26, 2012

October 25, 2012 - Madison, WI - Wednesday morning, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission granted approval for two customer requested Project H2O opt-out options. In addition to approving the requested options, the PSC also approved the fee structure to recover the additional project costs of both choices.

Project H2O is Madison Water Utility's installation of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). A small, battery-powered Electronic Read Transmitter (ERT) is attached to each water meter to wirelessly transmit water use data to MWU via a secure connection. This new meter reading system will benefit all utility customers through improved customer and system leak detection capabilities, more accurate and timely customer consumption data and reduced operating cost and vehicle emissions.

Customers who wish to opt out of the standard installation of an Electronic Read Transmitter (ERT) may choose between two alternatives: have the transmitter installed on the outside of the building (Option 1), or not have it installed on the property at all (Option 2).

Option 1 is to mount the ERT on the outside of the customer's home or business rather than the inside. If this option is selected, a one-time nonstandard installation charge of $50.69 will be added to the customer's account to cover the additional time and labor not included in the project contract. Customers who choose Option 1 will enjoy all of the benefits of Project H2O, including improved leak detection and, in the future, the ability to view and track their personal water consumption through MyWater on the utility's website.

Option 2 allows the customer to not have an ERT installed at their home or business. Instead, water utility staff will manually collect one meter reading per quarter and estimate the customer's water use during the other two months. If this option is selected, a monthly fee of $7.78 will be added to the customer's billing statement to cover the additional time and labor for manual meter reading, consumption estimates, and processing and entering customer's data into the billing system. This fee will be evaluated by the PSC with each future rate increase application and could increase or decrease in the future based on actual costs.

Customers who wish to opt-out must complete and sign a form, which is available on the utility's website. Letters and forms will be mailed to utility customers who previously requested to be placed on the utility's opt-out information list. Customers can also request that a form be mailed to them by leaving a voice message on the utility's Opt-Out Information Line at (608) 264-5323. Additional information about Project H2O, including the project installation map and timeline, can be found at www.madisonwater.org.

Contact:
  • Marie Van Aartsen, Acting PIO, (608) 266-9129