Council to credit overcharged bills in stages

2014-02-03 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG residents whose electricity accounts had been overcharged by three percent since July can look forward to getting backdated credit on their next bill from the Msunduzi municipality.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) and Msunduzi Municipality last week agreed that affected customers will be reimbursed by crediting their accounts with overcharged amount. The corrections will be backdated from July 1, 2013.

The decision was taken in a meeting to discuss Msunduzi’s implementation of the electricity tariffs approved for the 2013/14 financial year.

Nersa spokesperson Charles Hlebela said this meeting took place at the request of the Msunduzi Municipality in order to clarify the latest correspondence received from the National Energy Regulator.

“The meeting agreed that the way in which the approved tariff was communicated to the Municipality opened it up to a different interpretation,” he said.

Hlebela said the tariff structure that was communicated to Msunduzi Municipality combined the basic charge and the R/Ampere charge into one, while the Municipality had unbundled the two charges. “This led to a misinterpretation of the approved tariff and hence an unintended [three percent] overcharge by the Municipality to its customers,” said Hlebela.

He said the difference in interpretation of the approved tariff is only limited to the 2013/14 financial year.

Hlebela said the meeting resolved that Msunduzi Municipality will reimburse affected customers by crediting their accounts with the overcharged amount.

He said the credited amounts will be used to offset the monthly customer bills from the municipality until the credit is used up and that no cash will be given out.

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