New Measures to Modernize Water Billing System

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New Measures to Modernize Water Billing System

$8.4M contract provides more efficient, reliable, accurate service

October 29, 2014 (BALTIMORE, MD)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was joined by Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E., to announce the approval of an $8.4 million contract for a Customer Information System (CIS) that will modernize billing for Baltimore City’s 410,000 water customers, including more than 200,000 customers in Baltimore County.

“Today, we took an important step to upgrade technology that has been in place since the 1970s,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “The new system will be the brains behind BaltiMeter, enabling customers to read their water bills online and have convenient access to more information about their water usage—translating to greater confidence in the metering and billing systems.”

The new CIS, known as UMAX, will enable the City to move away from the existing “minimum bill” model to one that charges based on actual consumption, plus a service fee, and bills on a monthly basis to better support personal budgeting.

The BaltiMeter program is aimed at providing a more efficient, reliable, and accurate water meter reading and bill for all of the City’s water customers. Already, approximately 5,000 customers in Baltimore City’s Midtown and Pimlico neighborhoods and nearly 5,000 customers in Baltimore County’s Bowleys Quarters neighborhood are undergoing installation of new meters that wirelessly transmit precise water usage readings.

“Our customers deserve the best metering and billing experience we can provide,” said DPW Director Chow. “The system we bought today is based on best practices in the utility billing industry, and it will provide us the flexibility to continue serving our customers with excellence, many years from now.”

The vendor, Itineris North America, won the contract following an open, global bidding process. Based in Marietta, GA, Itineris North America provides CIS systems to water, wastewater, and energy utilities worldwide.

“In a day when the relationship between utilities and their customers is evolving rapidly, we are excited to be part of the future for the City and citizens of Baltimore,” said Itineris North America President John Beddingfield. “Itineris is thrilled to help the City, through our UMAX solution, increase operational efficiencies, deliver higher-quality customer care to its citizens, and empower those citizens to make informed decisions about water through better data.”

 The City will begin its operation of the UMAX CIS concurrently with the completion of the BaltiMeter installation, scheduled for April, 2016, in Baltimore City and April, 2017, in Baltimore County. The contract with Itineris North America includes $6.2 million for installation and $2.2 million for 10 years of maintenance.

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