Jun 26, 2014
By Jane Brown
If you’re one of the 3341 Toronto Water customers who want your water meter read manually, you’ll soon be charged for it. A charge of $80 will be added for manual readings. Based on three readings a year, that’s an extra $240. These customers have also received warning letters from the city they could be fined up to $50-thousand and have their water cut off. Why the steep penalty? The new program of having smart meters automatically transmit readings has been approved by Toronto City Council and is mandatory for all customers. The city’s water department expects to save $5-million a year by getting rid of manual meter readings. Critics of wireless water meters in the U.S. have pointed out that transmissions aren’t encrypted, so readings can easily be altered or the signals can even be jammed. There’s also the possibility of customers abusing the system by finding ways to manipulate the wireless meters.