City of Troy Utilities portal on pace for October release

Published 3:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2017

An online portal that will allow Troy residents to track their utilities is still being tweaked and officials expect it to be released in October.

When the portal was first announced it was planned to be available for customer use in November of 2016. But a series of vendor changes to the system have kept the portal in the planning stage.

“We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Brian Chandler, utilities manager. “There’s another update coming out this month, then we’re going to train employees and hope to release it in October. We wish it was ready before now; we’ve been ready for while waiting for it to get up to date.”

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At the time it was announced, the plan was to release the electricity usage portal first and the water usage portion would be added in around this time, but because the changes have delayed the project, Chandler said both utility sectors will be available for customers to track once the portal is rolled out.

“We hope to be done changing out water meters in four to six weeks so all of our customers will be able to see both,” Chandler said.

The portal was introduced as a means to help residents plan their utility usage for their budgets and find emergencies before a high bill comes in.

“It will enable customers to see their water or electric usage in detail on an hourly, daily or monthly basis and provide alerts on usage,” Chandler said. “They’ll get an email text if their utilities goes over a certain amount they set. This way they won’t have to wait until they get their water bill or electric bill to find a problem. This provides a lot more information for the customer to look at and try to make changes.”

The utilities department also has two other programs aimed at helping residents manage their utility bills.

“We have a program called levelized budget billing that once you’ve had one year of water or electric usage, or both, when you sign up it averages your usage over the last 12 months and sets an average bill that will remain the same for the next 12 months so the payment is the same every month.”

The city also provides a deposit refund to residents that pay their utility bills on time for 12 consecutive months.