Redland City Council is aware that some residents have received higher than usual water consumption charges in their April 2020 rate notice, resulting in an increased rates bill for this quarter.
Council advises the increase is not due to a change in water pricing.
In the majority of cases, the increase is due to the number of days between quarterly meter readings having been longer than usual.
Redland City Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chesterman said while Council strived for a consistent meter reading pattern, due to unforeseen circumstances this was not achieved for the April 2020 rate notice, which also included summer-time water use.
“While the water billing period for the April 2020 rate notice has been longer for many ratepayers, a smaller number of ratepayers may have also seen a more significant increase,” he said.
“This was due to a low, possibly incorrect, water reading recorded by Council’s external contractors in the last quarterly rate notice (January 2020), and the reading taken for the April rate notice has corrected this.
“Council sent this group of ratepayers a letter in January 2020 alerting them to the possibility of an incorrect low reading that may have been the cause of their apparent significant water reduction and advised that their next rate notice may result in a higher charge.”
Mr Chesterman apologised for the factors that contributed to the higher-than-usual water bill in the current rate notice.
“We understand the impact on ratepayers,” he said.
“I encourage anyone who is experiencing hardship or believes there has been an error to contact us, as Council is committed to working with property owners and has a range of hardship provisions and payment plans available.
“The time required to pay the April 2020 rates notice has also been doubled, with the due date being 11 June 2020.”
Mr Chesterman said Council was also investigating the introduction of smart water meters, which would allow residents to monitor their own meters via an app.
Contact Council on 3829 8999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org