NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY -

If you're interested in saving a few bucks on your utilities bill each month, the City of New Bern is trying to help.  The city is installing new water and electric meters across the area that will allow you to track your utility usage as you use it.

The almost $900,000 dollar pilot program, which is coming out of the city's budget, involves more than 1,600 customers.  These customers were selected at random.

"We're going to provide a tremendous amount of information to them that they've never had before," said New Bern utilities director Jon Rynne.

Rynne says in the spring, pilot participants will be able to log on to the city's website and see how much electricity and water they've used.  The new meters are linked to the city's utilities office and will allow the city to monitor if there are water leaks or power outages at homes and businesses.  That way customers won't have to call those problems in to the city.

If the pilot program proves to be a success, the program will provide the service to all of New Bern's 36,000 customers.  Rynne said that would cost $5 Million dollars and take five to seven years to implement.