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Water hike

KINGSTON – The majority of National

Water Commission customers will see

an 18 per cent hike in their bills come

monthend, even though the Office of

Utilities Regulation granted an increase at a

lower band of 13 per cent to others.

That is because people who will pay the

upper end of the increase do not pay the

NWC for sewerage services – and they are

in the majority.

If you are an NWC customer, whose

house is not connected to the central

sewerage system, this month’s bill will rise

to $2,295 (before taxes) if the previous bill

was $1,945.

A customer attached to the central

sewerage system, who used to pay

a monthly bill of $2,926, will have

to fork out some $3,320 for his water bill

this monthend.

The NWC increases follow the utility

company’s application for a 19 per cent

increase on rates in April.

In a statement issued late yesterday, the

Office of Utilities Regulation said the bill

increases had taken effect last Thursday,

October 3.

However, many people are taking issue

with the rate increases and complaining of

poor service from the NWC.

“Absolutely ridiculous! Paying more for

droplets of water and scheduled Thursday

lock-offs is nothing short of ludicrous,”

Bridgeport, Portmore resident Orlando

Bailey exclaimed when asked how he viewed

the announced increases.

Blake Allen, a young businessman, said he

expects the increase to affect the bottom

line of his recently opened sports bar.

“[The NWC increase] will definitely

affect business in the long run, because

it would mean more money for bills and

less money to spend. And when my lease

expires, which includes water, there may

be an increase,” Allen noted.

The Office of Utilities Regulation also

said in its release it had now begun the

process of separating rates for potable water

and sewerage system.

“The bill impact of the adjustments

will be overall increases of 13 per cent on

accounts, which reflect water and sewerage

charges and 18 per cent on accounts which

do not pay for sewerage services,” the

statement read.

However, communication manager at

the NWC, Charles Buchanan, told The

Gleaner that majority of the water

company’s customers had accounts that did

not require sewerage services.

(Jamaica Gleaner)

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