Just when we thought we were safe because Day Zero has been pushed back. Think again, a warning has been issued to residents of the Cape by the City about heftier water bills due to “technical challenges” with the new water metering system.
According to Xanthea Limberg, the mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water, water services and energy, the City has moved to an in-house electronic interface system which uploads monthly water readings.The previous system monitored water usage of residents with a third-party electronic platform. The move from the old system to the new in-house system resulted in technical challenges in the upload of water readings.
Because of this, some customers may receive estimated bills based on the readings of the previous year instead of the current one, resulting in higher charges. Residents across the city will be affected by these technical issues, and it is recommended that estimated accounts are settled as usual. Higher estimates will be appropriately adjusted when the correct meter reading is captured.
The City’s call centre will also be available to offer assistance to customers whose estimated reading far exceeds their actual water consumption. Or you can walk into the customer centre for your bill to be investigated. The City municipality’s debt management services will be suspended until the investigation is resolved.
They have also requested that residents register to make use of the City’s e-services, in order to play an active part in the billing of their water readings. Consumption is based on the same period of the previous year because of the seasonal variation of water consumption.
However, the City will be working towards updating and changing the consumption patterns to accommodate the current water shortages. As of the 1st of March 2018, the average consumption of the property for the last three month period will dictate what the estimated amount charge will be.
Residents should also note that the estimated readings could affect their green dot status on the City’s water, as a grey dot will be given, reflecting that no data exists concerning the amount of water consumption for the property.