THE ETHEKWINI Municipality has responded to the article published in the last edition of the Coastal Weekly regarding local pensioners in dire straits over high electricity bills.Acting head of the communications unit Mandla Nsele said residents must switch off and save electricity.“With reference to high electricity bills, here is an energy efficiency and electricity saving tip for customers. “Customers must switch appliances off and save. Unplug all the appliances that are not in use. Even cell phone chargers continue to use electricity when they are not charging. “Also, the customer must make sure that they are not leaving appliances on standby mode as it is a guaranteed way to waste energy compared to turning appliances off at the plug point,” Nsele said. Pensioners claimed that meters are not being read every month however Nsele said customer meters are read on a quarterly basis and this reading is used to create a monthly estimate consumption profile. “As further readings are taken, estimates are reserved and the customer is billed for the actual consumption,” Nsele said. Nsele said only the landlord or property owner may make an application to change from a credit meter to prepaid meter and there are some costs involved with the changeover.A representative for the pensioners, Ritonia Govindsamy, said Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer visited the flats last week. Furthermore, Govindsamy disagreed with Nsele’s statement and said meters are being read every month.