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Here is how your water bill is being calculated

Eversince we entered another round of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya, we saw a sharp spike in complaints of high-water bills. The question is – what is the root cause of it?

Have we ever wondered that the long showers we take, the tap we leave open while brushing our teeth or the amount of water we use to wash our cars and water our plants can actually contribute to the increase in our monthly water bill? However, in some cases, an unusual water bill may also be caused by an internal pipe leakage.

It is crucial to shed light and provide clarity on the matter as we debunk this ongoing confusion surrounding our monthly water consumption bill. All of which will put a shock to the consumers upon receiving their bills. But fret not, every problem has its solution.

Understanding Your Monthly Water Bills

One may wonder, how exactly is your monthly water bill calculated? Monthly billing calculation for every customer account is made based on the actual meter reading taken by meter readers at the customers’ premises. As a customer, it is imperative that we also learn how to read the water meter. The meter counter at your premise displays your total water consumption which is measured in cubic metres (m3).

Detecting High Water Consumption: The Role of Consumers

Higher water bills may also affect those who live in homes that were built before the year 2000. Why you ask? The original plumbing system may not be replaced and as such, customers would have to deal with ageing pipes issues which may lead to internal leakages. A lot of these homes are facing such problems as more durable and sturdy materials were not available back then.

Did you also know that a home can lose up to 20,000 gallons (75,708 litres) of water per year through either direct or indirect leakage, including problems in faucets, showers, and in serious cases, water pipes on ceilings and in the walls? Once your toilet or faucet has a leak or continuously running water, it will indirectly increase the water consumption which can cause an extreme spike in your water bill.

In the case of an internal pipe leak, it is the responsibility of the customer, as stated in the Water Services Industry Act 2006. When you notice any water leakage in your homes, be sure to book a certified plumber to fix the leak immediately. It is recommended for customers to have their regular pipes checked and fixed as it can allow them to save on unexpected repair expenses and high-water bills in the future.

Challenges faced by Air Selangor as water operator

Monthly billing calculation for every customer account is made based on the actual reading taken by meter readers at the customers’ premises. However, there are situations where the customer’s meter is obstructed or located inside the premise and cannot be accessed directly.

Given such predicaments, Air Selangor has established a meter relocation programme, an initiative undertaken to ensure that the water meters are easily accessible for readings to be taken. As of July 2021, 3,657 (45.7%), over 7,227 water meters have been relocated.

According to the Water Services Industry Act 2006, water meters at customers’ premises remain as the property of the water operator. This gives the water operator the right to determine the installation position of the meter to facilitate daily operations. If the meter is in an unreadable or inaccessible position, the water operator may change or shift the position of the meter or even install a new meter.

Error in meter reading could be contributed by old and faulty meters. Hence, replacing the old and faulty meters is crucial in ensuring that correct reading of your water consumption can be recorded. To that end, the cost of relocating or replacing the water meters will be borne by Air Selangor.

Alternatively, for consumers who are still experiencing high water bills after the change of new water meter by Air Selangor, please lodge your complaints by calling 15300 or reach out to the Help Centre. By doing so, this will allow Air Selangor to investigate the cases expediently to avoid the issue from prolonging.

Tips To Maintain a Reasonable Monthly Water Consumption

As a customer, be sure to monitor any spike in your monthly water bill as this may be caused by uncontrollable water consumption. With family members spending all day at home during the pandemic period and consuming more water from an average of 180 litres per day as targeted by Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN), your water consumption trend may increase. 

Towards a Sustainable Future for Water Industry

Despite the challenges faced, Air Selangor is committed to exploring the measures in ensuring that clean and safe water supply can be continuously distributed to the consumers.

As a water operator, Air Selangor is always planning and exploring the construction of new water treatment plants to continue serving the growing number of consumers. However, such development will require a large cost and would have an impact on the environment in the long run.

As a consumer, let us play our part in using water prudently to avoid any surprises when we get our monthly water bill while we continue to help our water operators in protecting our water sources.

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