(AP) If you pay for your water and sewer service, you probably have an Nola meter.
If you don’t, the utility has a meter for you to keep track of when it’s time to renew.
The water and sewage meter, which sells for about $10 a month, can save $20 a month in electricity and sewer bills if you use it frequently.
“If you have to refill the meter regularly, you can save about $20 per month in water bills if it’s a very frequent use,” said Scott J. Miller, the executive director of the Nola Utility System.
“And we’re looking to add more customers to that.”
Miller said Nola has about 1,400 meters in use, and customers who use them regularly can save as much as $1,500 a year in water and gas bills.
“We’re doing that through the meter, we’re paying the bill and we’re making payments, and that’s what keeps the bill down,” Miller said.
Miller said customers who don’t keep their water and wastewater meter renewals monthly can save up to $25 a year by using the meters less frequently, like once or twice a year.
Miller said the cost savings could be even more because Nola does not require customers to buy new water meters.
But he said the system could potentially add up to as much $300 a year, a savings that could offset some of the $5 million cost of adding more water meters, a $5 billion dollar increase in water rates and a $1.4 billion increase in the costs of operating the system.
Miller is encouraging people to keep using the meter because of the savings.
He said people often don’t realize the savings are possible.
“There are other options available.
We don’t have to pay the extra costs to keep the water and sewers running, but you can,” Miller added.
“So we have some very good options.”
Miller’s company is one of the nation’s largest utilities, and he said its customers are more likely to pay less for water and have more options when it comes to paying for their water.
Miller has not heard of many people not using the NOLAs meters regularly.
“There’s a lot of people who do use them.
It’s very rare,” he said.
Nola has had to add meters to two other communities to keep up with demand and to make repairs when power outages or hurricanes hit.
Miller says the cost to install the new meters in the new areas has been more than offset by the savings, but he added the costs are still higher than if customers didn’t have the new meter.
Miller also said that while the system may be less expensive to use than the old ones, the cost of maintaining them is higher.
Miller hopes that with the new water and utility systems, Nola will see more people renew their meters regularly, but that’s still a work in progress.
Miller told AP he expects the new system to be up and running in the coming weeks and months, but it’s unclear when it will be up.