What is the customer portal?
As part of the Town’s program to update the community’s water meters, customers have access to an online customer portal to monitor their water usage. Since utility fees are directly linked to usage, the new portal is a great tool to help customers save money. Anyone who has received the new meters, or has been upgraded with the new technology, has access to sign into the portal through the Town’s website.
Once users have signed up for an account and the portal is ready, they can log into it from a mobile phone, tablet or computer. The portal is accessible from anywhere there is wifi access. The portal consists of a user-friendly dashboard with a notification section for municipal messaging and features the watering schedule for quick reference. Residents can view their water use in a number of ways - from calculated hourly readings to actual monthly and annual values, including average daily use, billing cycle use and hourly use. Customers can also set thresholds that will send an alert to a pre-set email if the threshold is exceeded. This can prevent costly utility bills because of undetected leaks. There is an option to add people to the account, who will also receive the alert. This is especially beneficial for those who may be away for extended periods of time. For snowbirds, who are away from home for several months, it provides peace of mind that they can track whether there are any leaks by checking for unusual water use activity while they are out-of-town.
The customer portal is a communications tool for customers to better understand their water consumption and can notify the customer of any unusual water use. The customer can set thresholds to receive alerts if there is continuous water consumption that may indicate a household leak. The dashboard includes a notification section for municipal messaging and features the watering schedule for quick reference.
What information can I see on the portal?
You can view your usage information in a variety of ways – from calculated hourly readings to actual monthly and annual values. Details include:
- Average daily usage
- Average billing cycle usage
- Hourly interval data
Can I see the data in gallons vs. cubic meters?
The portal measures water down to the litre while billing is rounded to the nearest cubic metre (1000L). The portal does allow the ability to change the units of measure displayed by clicking the gear icon on the page.
Is my information protected on the portal?
Yes, the portal is built with the latest technology to keep your account safe and the portal does not store any financial information. Identifiable customer information is never stored or transmitted by the advanced meters.
Your meter reading data is encrypted with the same technology many Canadian financial institutions use. In addition to the encryption, only a unique code that identifies the transmitter in the advanced meter and your read will be sent to the Town of Okotoks.
Does the portal have other features beyond showing my consumption data?
You can set up certain usage thresholds. Then turn on email notifications to be alerted if your thresholds are exceeded or other settings are triggered.
What types of water consumption thresholds can be set up?
- Daily usage alert
- Billing cycle usage alert
How will I receive alerts?
When you set up the account you will enter an email address (required). You can also log into the portal to see alerts on your web browser.
Can I arrange for someone else to receive alerts?
Yes, you can add additional recipients to your account. This is useful if you are out of town or want to be notified of potential problems at a family member’s property, for example.
What can I do with the usage details?
You have the flexibility of exporting this data into files for home use monitoring. The temperature and rain data, along with your usage information provides context to see if your usage is as you’d expect, given certain weather conditions. Data can be viewed in 24 hour, 7 day, 30 day and annual time frames.
Can I set up more than one account or meter on the portal?
Yes, some customers may want to monitor multiple properties so you can have more than one account or meter. You will be asked security questions to verify that you are authorized to add the additional account or meter.
Can I view the portal on my mobile device?
You can view the portal from any of the most common mobile, tablet and computer browsers. Please install your browser updates for the best experience.
How do I know if my information is entered correctly?
The portal system will send a confirmation email to the address provided.
What are meter nicknames?
If you have more than one meter on your account you can nickname it to remind you which meter it is.
What if there is no data for a meter?
The dashboard only has access to data from the new meters. Your utility account number will not change. You will only be able to see data going forward from when your new meter has been activated.
What happens to my account if I move away?
When you move away, the corresponding portal to your water meter will be deactivated as soon as your account becomes dormant and you will no longer have access to the data. Historical consumption previous to a future owner of the same property will not be available to the new customer. The utility will still have access to the full historical consumption.
What if the hourly and daily water consumption readings from the meter are not showing up on the dashboard for a longer period of time?
If the radio transmitter has not been heard by the tower receiver for an unexpectedly long period, the hour or day that the consumption occurs can take time to backfill and update. Don’t worry, the meters are calibrated and always measure correctly so that the bill sent each month is accurate. If the duration is too long and the hourly information cannot be generated, the actual meter reading is used to catch up the portal.