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Thread: Outrageous Municipal bills

  1. #1
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    Outrageous Municipal bills

    I need help and it seems I am not the only one.

    I got a R60 000 electricity bill a while back, because my meter was not read for a couple of years, I am still paying it off.

    I was told that it is your responsibility to make sure that you submit your reading on time every month. The municipalities have 4 different ways to submit your meter reading.

    So I have been checking my electricity meter every month, so far all good.

    Then this month imagine that, I get a R 60 000 bill for water and sewage, I nearly had a flippen heart attack.

    It turns out for the past 10 years, every month my water read, until July last year, they decided to no longer read my water meter, but instead just bill an estimate. They read the meter last month and imagine that I got a bill that even if I sold my car I couldnt afford to pay it.

    I am told (this is where I need help), that I have to go to the municipality and sit in the que then apply for a payment plan to pay off the full amount, then apply for to the water loss levy insurance to claim for the difference in water.

    If it is approved they will "credit" my account for the difference between my average monthly useage and the water loss due to what I can only assume is was a leak.

    Do you have to go to the municipality or is there an online service where you can discuss the problem?
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

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    Please feel free to share links, emails, messaging services to submit the meter readings, for your area.

    Dave please fix the spelling in the header.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

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    In PE we use an App or website to submit water and electricity readings
    I get my tenant to send me a pic of both meters every month on the same day and submit

    The reason I use the pic is that my daughter used the red numbers on the meter to submit and ended up with a 1 Million rand water bill - Fortunately the bill was so outrageous that a senior staff member was allocated the case and it was sorted out within a week.
    The other option you may have is to go and sit with your local councilor/office and they should be able to assist

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    A few lessons learnt from these bad experiences:

    1/ It pays to check your meter every single month regards of the estimate from the municipality, the more often the better.

    2/ Submit your reading via an app of email every single month, the municipality in our area since July last year only read the meter every 6 months (R60 000 water bill) to 2 years (as we learnt from the R68 000 electricity bill)

    3/ Create and XL spreadsheet and monitor the reading yourself, you will identify issues and maybe even help you save water or electricity.

    4/ Consider installing smart meters, to make the task easier which can be used to compare readings.

    5/ It is your responsibility as the customer to ensure that "YOU" submit your reading on time every month, even though the meter cost is included in your bill

    6/ You are responsible for any thing that happens on your side of the meter.

    7/ Brass meters and Copper pipes which have been in services for many many years are being removed on a large scale and replaced with plastic meters and plastics pipes, which if you follow WhatsApp groups in your area, you will notice it is common for these new plastic pipes to leak at the joints. This morning I noticed another complaint. Best you find out the contact details for your local water department, if it leaks on your side of the meter it is your responsibility to get it repaired and you will be liable for the cost of the repair and the water loss. You will have to take a loan or get involved in a municipality loan scheme to pay the full amount, then claim if you pay the municipality water loss levy. By the way they dont refund the money once it is sorted out, they credit your utility bill
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

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    The AUS-iot Monitor System for water and electricity from Asante Maji can save you thousands in incorrect billing and early leak detection.
    For only R366.85 per unit p.a. you can get a dashboard to read all the meters under your control and do billing. Tenants can download a free Android app to read their own meters.
    Automated reading is done on the hour every hour and reports for excessive consumption and leaks are generated.
    This information can stand up in court where or when you have disputes with utility providers.

    This is an example of the data displayed on your phone. More info at https://www.asantemaji.com

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tell us more about these products.

    Considering I have seen my utility bills clocking up over R100 000 in a month ( for a domestic property) , it is time to look into a means to simplify these services, both water and electricity and compare readings. I would assume your product is certified and court be used as evidence ?

    Share some costing with us:

    Would I need to install another water meter inside my property and attach your device to the meter ? ( I wouldn't want the unit installed outside the property)

    Total cost including purchasing the unit, plus the year fee?

    The electricity meter cost, plus yearly fee ?

    Would it cost me R5000 to buy and setup?

    I bought a CBI product the other day, however its just a mission to log in and view the dottie readings.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

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    I am all for doing the right thing, so lets look into the app to forward my meter reading.

    https://apps.apple.com/za/app/ethekw...latform=iphone

    Imagine that, it has a one star rating, doesnt work.

    Try register your solar installation, imagine that it also doesn't work because the email address is incorrect.

    What next.....................lets try register for eservices

    https://eservices.durban.gov.za/v2/Account/Register


    Imagine that it also doesn't work, loaded all the info and waited for the 4 digit verification code, tried resend, tried to start again same problem.

    Anyone have the 4 different ways to send your meter readings, which work ?
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Tell us more about these products.
    The AUS-iot System was developed by the same engineers who registered the STS prepaid system as the world-wide standard for prepaid metering.
    They have also served on some international standards committees.
    We have however found that prepaid water meters are expensive, troublesome and have a life span of only 3 - 5 years. They are also easy to bypass.

    Our solution connects to a new or existing pulse meter (residential or bulk) and can last up to 10 years. Water meters can last up to 20 years but lose some accuracy after about 8 years. The AUS-iot Monitor will alert the user to possible leaks and tampering and will therefore prevent resulting damage from undetected leaks underground or e.g. a burst geyser. Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	8877 This system is almost 50% of the cost of a prepaid meter and the annual subscription of R319 + Vat is a fraction of what one would pay for vending fees on an equal volume of water.

    Property managers have the advantage of seeing all their meters in multiple buildings on-line. They can do their billing by downloading data via API or CSV and incorporate it into their accounting software. Reading meters at a fixed time of the month enables statistical analysis which in turn enables future budgeting.
    An adjustable "soft limit" alerts the manager of excessive consumption or other problems.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    So if it is 50% of the cost of a prepaid meter (https://arb.co.za/product/utility-sy...d-water-meter/) Then it would be about R1500 + the annual fee?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerBob View Post
    So if it is 50% of the cost of a prepaid meter (https://arb.co.za/product/utility-sy...d-water-meter/) Then it would be about R1500 + the annual fee?
    Quoted price for a prepaid meter R2826 plus vending fees of 10% - 15% on purchases.
    On a water bill of R600 pm the vending fee @12% = R72 (R864 for 12 months)
    1st year total capital outlay = R 2826 + R864 = R3690 Expected product life 3 - 5 years.

    1st year Capital outlay AUS-iot Monitor R 1032 + 1st year subscription R366.85 = R1398.85
    (including Android app and unrestricted access to data when connected to an existing pulse water meter).
    Expected product life 8 - 10 years (based on battery life which can vary according to usage and temperature variations).
    Where no meters are installed, we can supply domestic and bulk water meters at competitive prices.
    Cost of a new water meter R377 and a wall mounted meter box R253 = R630
    Expected product life up to 20 years but with loss of accuracy after 6 - 8 years.

    These are retail prices and obviously a substantial discount (up to 20%) is available for residential and commercial complexes where multiple meters are installed.
    In such and instance the LoRa gateway can be subsidised by the service provider. We use the Semtech LoRa open source radio system and our products are locally manufactured with local backup.

    LoRa Alliance was formed to standardize LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Networks) for IoT and is a non-profit association that features membership from several key market shareholders such as CISCO, actility, MicroChip, IBM, STMicro, SEMTECH, Orange mobile, and many more. This alliance is key to providing interoperability among multiple nationwide networks.
    Each LoRa gateway can handle up to millions of nodes. The signals can span a significant distance, which means that there is less infrastructure required, making constructing a network much cheaper and faster to implement.
    LoRa also features an adaptive data rate algorithm to help maximize the nodes battery life and network capacity. The LoRa protocol includes a number of different layers including encryption at the network, application, and device level for secure communications.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

  13. Thanks given for this post:

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