Smart Meter
Frequently Asked Questions


Is AMI the same thing as smart meters?

Yes. AMI stands for Advanced Metering Infrastructure and smart meters are an integral part of that entire system.


What are some basic benefits of smart meters?

  • Smart meters will replace older, outdated, stuck, or broken meters that don’t always (or can’t) provide an accurate measurement of how much water is consumed.
  • Track and see how much and when they use their water via the new WaterSmart customer portal, available to them 24/7.
  • Reliable water usage data can help customers spot leaks faster, which could help avoid property damage or high usage bill.
  • The technology eliminates estimated and sometimes inaccurate manual readings.
  • If customers have a spike in use and/or a possible leak, a notification can be sent to their phone or email.


How do smart meters support the vision of Eastside?

  • By providing more accurate system data, we can improve internal operations and external customer service.
  • This technology gives us the tools to help monitor water consumption, which helps us operate as efficiently and safely as possible
  • Smart meters bring tested, smart technologies to our water and sewer systems; we may even be able to build on top of this smart technology across other areas of our region and within our utility services.


Do I have to be home for a meter replacement? What do I need to do?

Most of the time, no one is required to be present because most meters are located outside. The smart metering installer will leave a notification that your installation has been completed and any applicable instructions and will also provide information on what to do if the meter was not able to be installed.


Do I have to schedule my smart metering installation appointment?

No. Residential customers will receive their new meters over the course of the full implementation based on the rollout route that follows the regularly scheduled billing cycles

Most commercial meters will be scheduled in person directly with the local installation vendor (EnvoCore) to avoid business interruptions.


How will I know the meter installer works for you?

We encourage customers to ask for identification from anyone who comes to their door.

The smart metering installers from EnvoCore will:

  • be wearing an easily identifiable uniform
  • have an EnvoCore contractor company badge
  • knock on your door before they change your meter
  • will NOT need to enter your home to change your meter (the meter is outside)


What’s the process of installing the new Smart Meter?

The installer will locate your meter box containing your water meter. For both residential and commercial customers, replacing the water meter will require installers to turn off the water for 15 to 30 minutes. When the new meter is installed, the installer will test the meter to verify that it is operational.


Will my water service be interrupted during installation?

Yes, the water service will be turned off for 15-30 minutes. The installer will turn the water back on prior to leaving your home.


How long will it take to install the smart meter?

In most instances, installation should take around 30 minutes. Some installations – mostly larger commercial meters - may take longer.


Will the appearance of my water briefly change once the meter is installed?

It is typical that when the water is turned off, a small amount of air or debris can get into the service line, and/or you might experience a slight discoloration of water. To eliminate any discoloration, air, or tiny bits of debris, run the water in your outside spigot or the cold water bathtub faucets for a few minutes and it should clear things up.


What do I do if I have any water issues after my new water meter is installed?

If you notice any problems immediately after installation, contact our installation partner, EnvoCore. Their phone number is listed on the door hanger they left for you after your meter was installed. They will also leave instructions with applicable details, along with their phone number, after they have installed your new water meter.  


How do I know that the new smart meter reading is accurate?

The reading at the meter is regularly converted into a digital format using technology that has proven to be highly reliable and secure, as noted in project studies, pilot programs, and large-scale implementations. By having this information relayed in a digital format, it eliminates the potential for human error in manual meter reading.  


How will I know my neighbor’s data won’t be confused with mine?

The endpoint that sends your meter reading has a unique identifier that is transmitted along with the read data. This identifier is compared electronically to your account record to ensure that the meter reading matches the meter assigned to your account.


Will customers’ personal data be protected?

Yes, your account information is securely transmitted through an integrated network technology solution.


Will there be any difference in the delivery or quality of water after my new meter is installed?

No. You will continue to enjoy the same high-quality water you have come to expect from Eastside.


What if I have questions about the last meter read before my upgrade?

Digital photographs will be taken of the last meter reading to use as a reference point. The installer will provide these photographs to Eastside and the billing staff, who will have this information available to answer your questions. This is something that will be verified working with the meter installation team. 


How can I save money with the new smart meters?

Smart meters themselves can’t save you money; however, the information they provide can help you figure out if you are wasting water or potentially have a leak from a leaky toilet, an inefficient washing machine or shower head. You can then use that information to make repairs and other changes to reduce water consumptionEastside can provide specific conservation tips and advice about using water efficient devices. Each of these things can help you reduce your water use and, consequently, the amount of your water bill. 


Will smart meters consume energy and add to my electricity bill?

Smart water meters have their own battery, allowing it to intermittently transmit data with its own power. It will not add to your electricity bill.


How will my water consumption data be used by Eastside?

Unlike our current manual meter reads, smart metering data will allow Eastside to have more time-specific information about how people use water, i.e., at what times of day is the highest demand, and in what areas of the system.

Knowing where demand is growing can help Eastside proactively expand our system to serve new and emerging customer needs. It can help individual residential and business water consumers see when and how much water they use at different times of the day.


I am any Landlord/Property Management Company/Business Owner.  What should I know about the new smart water installation?

Our EnvoCore installation team will visit each commercial/multifamily building individually to schedule an appointment for the new meter installation.

Once that appointment has been set, we encourage any Landlords/Property Management Companies/Business Owners to provide notification to their tenants about when the water will be briefly turned off if their tenants do not have direct access to their water meters.

A notification will be sent to all service addresses (residential customers in houses, duplexes/fourplexes), letting them know their new meter is coming soon and will leave additional information for them the day of installation.  


My smart meter was installed. What’s next? Do I need to do anything else?

No - You don’t need to do anything for your smart meter to automatically start working and reading your water use. Register for the new WaterSmart Customer Portal so you can easily monitor your water usage and set alerts that will notify you of unusual water consumption!


What are Smart Meters? 

According to the American Water Works Association, “…smart meters are part of an integrated system of meters and information systems that enable communication between meters and utilities.”


How long have smart water systems been around?

Smart water meter systems have been tested and installed all over the world for over 20 years.


What do smart water meters do and how do they communicate?

Smart water meters allow customers’ meters to reliably and accurately measure the use of water in their home or business. The system automatically sends a brief, private, digital message to a data collection tower using a cellular signal—much like a cell phone does now. It’s a way to more accurately measure and bill for the water that is consumed and to quickly pinpoint leaks and unusual water usage.


Why is Eastside investing in smart meter technology?

Installing the smart metering system will help minimize the potential for missed or inaccurate reads, which we hope will increase trust in the accuracy of every water bill. It will also help us to provide faster service with daily usage data that can be used to help spot potential leaks or unexpected consumption. It will even eliminate the need for someone to come onto your property for manual meter readings, increasing the privacy of your home. 


Is my bill going to be higher with the new smart meter?

Many of our meters are well past their useful life and their functional integrity has significantly deteriorated. The new meters are more sensitive and register smaller incremental amounts of water so consumption is measured more accurately. We can now use the water use data that is automatically generated and read several times a day to identify potential problems in our water system while providing our customers more consistently accurate bills. With the new WaterSmart customer portal, you can monitor your water usage, view your historic water use throughout the year, and sign up for potential leak alerts. If you’d like to see how your water bill is calculated, please go to EUD website page for more information


When will my installation occur?

Installations have begun! The rollout will happen gradually across the Eastside service area based on meter reading routes. Expect the completion of all meter installations within approximately 14 to 18 months.

  1. Customers will receive a notice in their Utility Bill about 4 weeks before their new meter will be installed.

  2. A postcard notification will be delivered about 2 weeks before the meter installation occurs.

  3. A Door Hanger will be left at your home or business to let you know any important details about your new meter installation.