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West Kimberley meter reading issue now resolved

Some customers in Broome and Derby have received a higher than expected electricity bill this month as a result of an inaccurately low bill they received previously which was the result of a meter reading issue in December.

Approximately 1,275 customers were affected and Horizon Power wrote to those customers whose bill was significantly higher or lower in January, to advise them of the issue.

“Horizon Power wants to assure our customers that this error occurred before the new advanced meters were connected to our billing systems on 25 January 2016.  The error was made by our meter reader who was physically reading the meters before they became automated,” Horizon Power’s Retail and Community Manager Jodie Lynch said.

“The new advanced meters mean that from now on, bill errors resulting from manual reads will no longer occur as the electricity you use is accurately recorded by the new meter.”

This error in the field resulted in low bills being issued in December/January which means customers were not charged for all of the electricity they used during that previous two month period. Customers are now receiving the next bill which includes use in the previous two months as well as the electricity not paid for in the previous two months due to the meter reading error.

Horizon Power will give affected customers additional time to pay for the electricity they have used, because of our error.

The meter reading issue is not the only reason people may receive a higher than expected bill. Recent examples we have identified through Social Media commentary and complaints to our Call Centre include:

-       Using more power than usual due to the hot weather and the Kimberley has experienced a particularly hot summer.

-       Being new to the Kimberley and the weather.

-       Not paying the previous bill, leading to additional fees and charges.

-       A property having more meters than previously identified, so back-billing has occurred.

Customer contact centre: 1800 267 926

 

FACT FILE

  • Horizon Power has installed 30,000 meters across five regional areas.
  • Of the billing complaints received, the new advanced meter has not been identified as the cause of any inaccurate billing issue.  Benefits of the advanced meters include:
      • Customers who currently make special arrangements for our staff to read their meter will no longer need to do so.
      • Estimated bills will be a thing of the past, except for some very remote customers.
      • There is no charge to our customers for the new meter or its installation.
      • When customers move into a home we will be able to reconnect electricity more quickly. The process of disconnection will also be faster.
      • We can now identify  the cause of faults more quickly because we will be able to see whether the fault is inside the house, on the customer side, or on our network. If the fault is related to our network, we will send crews as soon as possible to rectify it.

The meters allow remote customers in approved areas, to move between Pre Payment and more traditional, bi-monthly billing.

The project identified installations that may have not been recording all consumption, so accurate and equitable metering is now available to all customers.

Media Queries

Retail and Community Manager

Jodie Lynch    Tel 0457 800 661

Jodie.lynch@horizonpower.com.au