Reasons for high municipal accounts

Reasons for high municipal accounts

Several complaints were received by residents about what is perceived to be abnormally high municipal services accounts over the last few days. The readings for the latest municipal account made it appear as though consumption of services, specifically electricity and water, were higher than normal compared to those of the previous months.

In many instances it will be as a consequence of the number of days included in the reading period (e.g. 38 days, etc). However, residents can be assured that the billing system will still calculate the consumption at the correct sliding scale tariff taking the additional days above 30 days into account.

In some instances residents may not have taken into account the increase of 14.59% for electricity charges on their municipal account.

Please check your monthly account and should you have been affected by this, contact the Finance Department on 028 313 8000 or to make enquiries and if necessary arrange payment agreements.

Please bear the following in mind:    

(A confluence of certain circumstances has led to the above normal municipal accounts for August 2021.  In most cases, specifically in households with credit electricity meters, it could be ascribed to the following;)

  • Overstrand Municipality has appointed a service provider that supplies the software for meter readings from 1 July 2021, after a tender process was followed. 
  • A new tender was awarded for meter reading services, which means that there are also new meter readers who are not familiar with the area.  As a result, no actual readings could be taken during July 2021 and average consumption were charged to accounts.  This average calculation appears to be lower than the actual average consumption during previous winter months.
  • In August 2021, the new meter readers were not able to complete the readings within the normal 30 day period and instead, in many cases, used 38 days to complete them which also had an impact on the account.
  • Following Eskom’s increase, Overstrand Municipality’s tariffs for electricity was increased by 14.59% and besides the longer period of consumption due to the late readings, this increase in tariffs also contributed to higher municipal bills.

Please see the comparison between a conventional/credit meter and a prepaid electricity meter below, indicating that prepaid tariffs for units purchased is indeed cheaper, since no meter readings need to be taken. The Municipality receives these payments instantly.

On the other hand, payment for electricity consumed on a credit meter (with slightly more expensive tariffs) is received approximately 60 days later only.   * The meter was read at the end of the period, the account sent only after that with a further number of days leniency, up to due date by the 20th of the following month.  Residents are thus requested to consider converting from conventional to pre-paid meters as it is easier to control consumption with a pre-paid meter.

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