Dummy water bills to help residents ‘conserve water use’ before paying

Trial readings of water meters have been delivered to homeowners this month to help them take control of their water use.
Under the metering system for the 2017/18 year, residents’ water bills will be charged in two parts: a fixed charge of $213.83 for the year and a water usage charge of $1.82 per cubic metre (1000 litres).

Residents currently pay $549.42 in their rates for water management.

Waikato District Council general manager service delivery Tim Harty said the new charges covered the treatment, distribution and management of water supply to ensure that when water reached residents it was free from harmful organisms and met water supply standards.

“The charges are set to cover the costs of running the system only, as it is illegal for councils to profit from providing water.”
According to the 2013 census, the average household size in Raglan is 2.3 people.

WDC has based the 2017/18 charges on a two-person household using an average of 170 cubic metres of water for a 12-month period – 232 litres per person per day.

Using this average, the total proposed water rates (targeted rate plus water use) for 2017/18 for a two-person household would be $523.23. The total proposed water rates (targeted rate plus water use) for 2017/18 for a three-person household would be $596.03.
Mr Harty said council arrived at these values by modelling historic water usage and the cost of supplying those volumes against various pricing structures.

“Ultimately the final pricing structure is decided based upon what is deemed the most equitable to all users. We anticipate that the overall rates collection would be the same.”

Mr Harty said two trial readings would be sent out and they were designed to help ratepayers understand their meter, thereby helping them to monitor and conserve water use.

Homeowners were also urged to check that the water meter assigned to their property was correct. This can be done by turning off the toby by the meter and checking that water no longer runs from taps on the property.

Property owners are expected to pay the targeted rate but may pass on water use charges to tenants as part of a tenancy agreement.
The charging system of water begins July 1, and water meters will be read and water use charged for every six months.
A second trial reading will be sent out to residents in May.

Tips on how to reduce water use can be found at www.smartwater.org.nz.

The Waikato District Council is holding an information session on water meters at the Raglan Creative Market on March 12.

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