WATER BILL or meter reading HIGHER THAN USUAL?
This might help to explain.
Keep in mind that under lockdown, more time was spent at home which could account for more water and electricity being consumed than usual.
Furthermore, water meter readings are verified by photographs taken of the meter readings to ensure the correct reading appears on the account.
According to Overstrand’s Customer Care, Credit Control and Debt Collection Policy, if a service is metered but it cannot be read due to financial and/or human resource constraints or circumstances beyond the control of the municipality or its authorised agent, the consumer can be charged with an estimate based on previous consumption.
Given the circumstances surrounding the national lockdown announced mid-March, most water bills reflected an estimate for the month of April only. The exceptions here are Westcliff and Eastcliff where an estimate was applied for two months, namely April and May.
Nevertheless, when estimates are used, the municipality is obliged to make corrections once meter readings can resume so that the consumer’s water bill reflects actual water consumption. These corrections can result in either a credit or debit adjustment.
By way of illustration, and keeping in mind that Overstrand’s billing system for water consumption is based on the days in between readings - in other words, readings are taken approximately every 30 days - let's look at how an imaginary client's consumption would reflect on the system:
Date Reading Consumption
02/02/2020 1000 to 1015 15 kℓ consumed as per actual reading
02/03/2020 1015 to 1027 12 kℓ consumed as per actual reading
03/04/2020 1027 to 1037 10 kℓ estimated consumption over 30-day period
03/05/2020 1037 to 1047 10 kℓ estimated consumption over 30-day period
04/06/2020 1047 to 1083 36 kℓ* actual reading since 02/03/2020
*Note that this reading yet again represents 30 days
At this point, the estimated consumption plus actual consumption since the last actual reading (i.e. 10 kℓ + 10 kℓ + 36 kℓ = 56 kℓ) is divided by 90 days.
Based on this calculation, our imaginary consumer’s water bill will be adjusted to reflect an average consumption of 2 x 18 kℓ and 1 x 19 kℓ respectively for the 90-day period.
Note that tariffs for water consumption are based on a sliding scale: The higher the consumption, the higher the rate.
Should you suspect that your meter reading is incorrect, please forward the relevant account number to email@example.com for investigation.