BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Jefferson County Commission announced the approval of a new billing agreement with the Birmingham Water Works Board Tuesday after months of negotiation.

To provide BWWB customers with greater billing efficiency, both organizations agreed to examine the benefits and cost savings of implementing electronic automatic meters. A cost study will also be performed to examine the share of expenses for billing, collecting, and remitting sewer service charges.

“We believe this agreement benefits Jefferson County ratepayers by implementing cost saving measures such as the use of electronic meter readers (EMR) to reduce associated administrative fees,” said District 1 Commissioner Lashunda Scales, chair of the Public Works Committee, via a press release. “Citizens deserve to pay for actual billing and that is what this agreement has accomplished.”

The new agreement will take effect on January 1, 2024, and will supersede all previous agreements.