$7B in debt, GWI applies for tariff ‘consolidation’

-also wants security deposit introduced
The Public Utilities Commission will today be holding a public hearing to consider an application by the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) for tariff consolidation, and the tariff rate for the various categories is expected to be one of the main issues to be discussed.
This hearing will be held in the boardroom of the Law Library of the Supreme Court, Charlotte Street at 1:30 p.m.
GWI has made a request to the PUC to: (1) Approve the introduction of a ‘Security Deposit’ for subscribers to the Service, (2) Approve the introduction of a ‘Fixed Charge’ component of the Tariff, (3) Approve the method of categorization for the various Tariff Bands- Residential, Commercial, Industrial/Institutional, Special Category and Government, (4) Approve the rates for the various Tariffs Bands for the supply of Water and  (5) Approve the rates for the various Tariff Bands for Sewerage Services.

Among the major initiatives that GWI has asked the Commission to approve is the commencement of the billing of Unmetered Customers on a quarterly basis from this month, with the aim to “consolidate all Billings (Metered and Unmetered) to quarterly. This is said to be in keeping with the drive to meter all customers.

In relation to the Security Deposit, GWI is seeking to have the PUC approve such a charge for all customers.  The proposal is for the deposit to be set at the same amount as the minimum billing (one semi-annual bill) for customers. This is based on the fact that there is a high level of delinquency when it comes to customers for “Servicing their indebtedness or current debt stands in excess of $7 billion.”
Meanwhile, as it relates to the tariff rates for the various band categories, an application has been made  to have the category referred to as “Domestic” to be now called “Residential” since this category name  is deemed to be ambiguous.

GWI also seeks the introduction of the tariff band – industrial/institutional to separate businesses which do not use a lot of water in their operations but where water is essential to the operation of the business. This category will include private schools and private hospitals.

The utility also wants a special category designated which it says consists of businesses that use water as a main ingredient. “GWI by way of the law is under no obligation to supply water to persons in this category. These will always be metered, billed on (a) monthly basis and kept on a strict 28 days grace period from bill date for payment”, the proposal said.

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