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Better billing on the way for the Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast customers can expect a change for the better when Unitywater accounts begin arriving in letterboxes from this month.
Meter reading has commenced under the new billing schedule introduced in January 2012 and accounts will be issued within days of customers receiving their meter reading notice.
Unitywater CEO Jon Black said the faster turnaround time was a key benefit of the new schedule.
Mr Black said all customers would now receive quarterly accounts and all charges, including fixed access fees, would now apply in arrears.
“Many customers asked us to address the long delays between meters being read and accounts being issued and we’ve listened,” Mr Black said.
“Issuing accounts within days, rather than months, of meters being read will make it easier for customers to monitor their water use.
“It also means problems such as concealed leaks on private property will be identified much more quickly.’’
Mr Black said the first account issued under the new schedule would be a one-off ‘transition’ account, covering an extended water usage period and a shorter than usual period for fixed access charges.
He said this would bring the dates for all charges into alignment, and future accounts would be issued every three months.
Mr Black said the move to year-round meter reading would not impact on Unitywater’s already announced 2011-2012 prices but the billing period for the next Unitywater account would depend on when individual customers’ meters are read.
“Accounts will begin arriving in February but some customers won’t receive their first account for 2012 until late March,” he said.
“Each customer will have their own quarterly billing cycle. Those who receive an account in February will receive their next account in May, while customers who receive their first account in March won’t receive another account until June.”
All existing rebates including pensioner rebates for eligible customers will remain the same under the new schedule, and customers will continue to have 30 days to pay their account.
Unitywater reminds all customers to ensure their meter is accessible for the meter readers.
Related story: Unitywater introduces new meter reading and billing schedule