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Utilities Regulations office delays NWC's payment compliance initiative

Published:Thursday | July 16, 2015 | 7:10 AM

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has asked the National Water Commission (NWC) to immediately halt its initiative to reward customers who pay their bills early.

The  initiative implemented on July 2 would also penalise those who pay late.

However, the OUR says the NWC should halt it for another 30 days. 

The regulator says it wrote to the NWC's acting president, Mark Barnett, on Tuesday saying it is yet to issue a decision regarding the payment compliance initiative. 

The OUR has given the NWC until July 24, to provide further information on whether customers were advised in advance of the initiative and say what was the notice period. 

The water agency is also to give an update on the improvements and expansion of its system used to provide bills to customers.

In a release yesterday, the OUR said it has no objection, in principle, to the introduction of the compliance initiative provided that there is no change to the approved tariff or tariff structure.

Under its initiative, the NWC said customers who pay their bills on or before the due dates will have $250 credited to their accounts for the following month.  

Meanwhile, customers who miss the deadline for payments, will be charged $250. 

The NWC claims that about 20 per cent of its $400,000 customers pay their bills in full and on time.