BP 3000 Billing Of Customers
1.1 The policy states the guidelines governing the billing of customers for the provision of water
and/ or sewerage services by the National Water Commission, hereafter referred to as the Commission.
1.2 In-keeping with Section 8 of the National Water Commission (Water Supply Services) (Rates and
Charges) Regulations, 1985, the Commission shall, at intervals prepare and render to Occupiers, bills for rates, charges or fees in respect of water supply services, and the Occupier shall pay such bills no later than the Due Date specified on said bills.
1. 3 Failure of the Occupier to pay his/ her bill within the timeframe specified may result in the
supply of the occupier being disconnected without notice. The supply will remain disconnected until all arrears on the account are paid, or arrangements made for payment of same.
1.4 The rates charged by the Commission are determined by the Offices of Utilities Regulations
(OUR), through its Tariff Regime.
1.5 This policy should be read in conjunction with the Business Policy BP 2001- Classification of
2.1 For the purposes of this policy the following definitions will apply:
BP 2001 Classification of Customer Accounts
1.1 This policy states the guidelines governing the Classification of Customers Accounts
established by the National Water Commission (NWC), hereinafter referred to as the Commission.
1.2 An account shall be classified in accordance with the nature of the activities/ enterprise
undertaken at the premises where the water is being consumed. This is done to facilitate the accurate and efficient billing of customers.
1.3 On receipt of a request for Water Supply Services, the Commission shall ensure that an
inspection is conducted at the property to ascertain the purpose for which the water will be used. The inspection shall include a detailed assessment of the equipment and fixtures that will be installed at the premises, as well as the number of occupants to reside/ occupy the premises. This is to facilitate the accurate classification of the customer's account, as well as to determine the rate at which the account should be charged/ billed.
1.4 The Policy BP 3000 — Customer Billing, states the guidelines governing the billing of
customer accounts, and includes the application of the Rate Class.
2.1 For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions will apply:
3.0 Classifying Customer Accounts
3.1 Accounts shall be classified in order to facilitate the application of the required Rate
Class to the account, given that different categories/ classification of customers are billed at different rates. These rates may be based on a number of factors including, but not limited to:
3.2 The Commission currently uses seven classes/ categories of accounts. These
classifications are further explained in the following sections:
3.2.1 Residential Customers
Residential customers refer to those customers who consume water specifically for domestic purposes. Residential Classification is applicable once the premises is habitable and at least 2/3 of the water consumed is for domestic purposes. The service connection given to Residential Customers shall not exceed 25mm (1 inch).
This refers to an apartment complex with a registered Strata Plan. It should be noted that, although each unit has an individual owner, individual meters will not be given to each customer. The property will be provided with a Bulk Meter and the Strata Management will be responsible for its management. This requirement becomes effective, the date of this policy.
Refers to supplies connected to premises for the purposes of trade or business. 3.2.4 Government
These are all Government owned institutions, including Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The Rate applied to a Government Account may be Commercial or Residential.
This refers to Infant, Primary and High Schools that are fully financed by the Government. Privately owned or partially funded institutions will be assessed/ considered Commercial Accounts.
These are non-profit organisations or agencies that are granted a special discounted rate
Residential supplies situated at premises that are occupied by employees and pensioners of the Commission. The classification will only be applied on the written approval of the Vice President responsible for Human Resources.
Change of Use
4.1 Where there is a change of use at a premises already supplied with water, the account
shall be billed in accordance with the observed use from the date first observed by the Commission. The date of first observance must be brought to the attention of the customer.
4.2 In instances where a customer fraudulently represents to the Commission an intended
use of water and the Commission subsequently discovers otherwise, then the account shall be debited with the differential charge from the established date of the verification of the fraud.
4.3 The Commission shall ensure that there is a programme in place to actively review/
audit customers' premises to assess whether there have been any changes in the use the water supplied to the property. Where there has been a change in the use of the property, the Commission reserves the right to bill the account in-keeping with the observed use of the property, effective the date of discovery.
4.4 Where a new supply is to be used for Residential Construction purposes, the
Commercial Rate shall be applied to that account. Upon completion of construction, the customer shall notify the Commission of the completion of the residence and request that the Commission review the Rate being charged. The Commission shall inspect the property to verify the conditions and the review done effective the date of the verification of use. The verification of use must be done within 30 days of receipt of the notification.
5.0 Dual Usage of a Supply
5.1 In instances where there is dual usage; Residential and Commercial, the account shall be
classified in accordance with the purpose for which the water is substantially used. Substantial use is deemed to be not less than two-thirds of total consumption.
BP 2002 Customer Metering
1.1 The National Water Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) is committed to
ensuring the highest level of Customer Service. A part of this commitment is ensuring the accuracy of charges for water consumed. The Commission is also committed to ensuring its own financial viability through the accurate and timely determination of its revenue and applicable production costs. One method of meeting these commitments is through the accurate metering of its customers.
1.2 It is the intention of the Commission to meter all its customers. This is to ensure that the water
produced and consumed can be accurately measured, managed and the data used to facilitate the pricing of Potable Water and Sewerage Services.
1.3 The Commission reserves the right not to meter any customer or Service Area, where it is
believed that it is not cost effective to do so. Service Areas that may be exempted from metering include, but may not be limited to those areas:
1.4 Where the decision has been taken not to meter a particular Service Area, the Commission will
ensure that there are alternative and objective methods in place to accurately and efficiently measure the water that is sent into and consumed by the occupants of the Service Area. These may include the installation of Production Meters and the establishment of District Metered Areas (DMAs). The Commission will also ensure that information relating to the customers in the Service Area is captured and the properties geo-referenced.
1.5 In-keeping with the provisions of Section 5 of the NWC Act, the Commission reserves the right to
enter any premises to which it supplies water to carry out duties deemed necessary relating to the installation, reading and repairs/ maintenance of meters. However, it will take reasonable steps to contact the Occupier of the premises prior to entry. If the Occupier is unavailable, the Commission will ensure that a notification is left on the premises detailing the purpose of the visit.
1.6 Meters, though installed at the customers' premises, remain the property of the Commission.
However, each customer shall be responsible for ensuring that the meter is not damaged and remains accessible to the Commission's agents. The customer shall be liable for meters damaged on their properties and as such shall be responsible for the cost of replacement.
1.7 Access to the meter shall be restricted to the Commission's employees or agents. The
Commission will, within 5 working days of receipt of report of a non-readable meter, visit the
property and ascertain the nature and cause of the problem. If the meter is covered due to
4.3 The Commission is aware that there are some factors that may impact the customers'
Customer Rating that are beyond their control. These factors include delay in the application of payments, the timing of the execution of the Delinquency Process, the timely application of manual adjustments as well as the recalculation of estimates applied to accounts.
4.4 Where a customer's Customer Rating is negatively impacted, the responsible Vice
President or his designate shall ensure that the relevant corrective actions are taken so that the correct Customer Rating is assigned to the customer.
5.0 Appeal Process
5.1 A customer may dispute the accuracy of his/her assigned Customer Rating. The dispute
must be outlined in writing and submitted to the Vice President or his designate. On receipt of the complaint, the Vice President/ designate shall ensure that the matter is investigated and the accuracy of the rating determined. The customer must be provided with the findings of the investigations, clearly stating evidence of the computation of the Penalty Points, where practicable.
6.0 Disclosure of Customer Rating
6.1 Where it is necessary to disclose a customer's Customer Rating to an external/ third
party, the Commission shall first gain the customer's consent prior to doing so. The request for the customer's information must be made in writing; likewise the customer's consent must be given to the Commission in writing.
6.2 A customer may request that the Commission provides him/her with a written status of
his/ her Customer Rating. The request shall be made in writing and may attract a Service Charge. All communication or disclosure regarding a customer's Customer Rating must be approved by the Vice President or his designate.
metered services, the lateral will be cut and capped before the customer'indoor stopcock. This method of disconnection will only be used on accounts with arrears equal to or greater than the specified threshold and not exceeding sixty days.
5.2 The Contractor/ In-house Plumber carrying out the disconnection shall be responsible
for ensuring that the method of disconnection is clearly stated on the Service Order given to them to execute the disconnection. This is to facilitate the timely reconnection of supplies once the customers have settled the arrears, given the requirements of the Office of Utilities Regulation Standard (OUR) WGS11- Reconnection within 24 hrs.
5.3 A Notice of Disconnection shall be left at the premises outlining the meter reading at
the time of the disconnection of metered account), arrears, date and time of the disconnection.
property boundary. The construction and installation of the meter boxes must be done in-keeping with the specifications and requirements outlined in the Meter Installation Technical Manual.
8.0 Meter Installation — Apartments/ Condominiums/ Commercial Complexes
8.1 All supplies installed at Apartments, Condominiums and Commercial complexes shall be
metered via a Bulk Meter or individual meters placed in a Meter Bank. The Meter Banks shall ideally be placed external of the complex and must be constructed in keeping with the specifications and requirements outlined in the Meter Installation Technical Manual.
8.2 Where the Commission suspects irregularities on individual meters, it reserves the right to
revert to a bulk meter to ascertain the true consumption to the property and will therefore
remove the individual meters where these meters are owned by the same owner/entity.
8.3 Where the complex has common areas or facilities these must be metered.
8.4 Effective the date of this policy, individual meters will not be installed for customers living in
Strata Complexes, the property will be provided with a Bulk Meter, the administration of which will reside with the Strata Management.
9.0 Meter Installation — Developments
9.1 Where a development exceeds 50 units and will not be a Registered Strata Corporation, the
Developer will be required to purchase the meters which shall be in compliance with the Commission's specifications and as well as the BSJ Standards. The actual installation of the meters will be done by the Commission's employees or agents and will be done in accordance with the standards and requirements outlined in the Meter Installation Technical Manual.
9.2 Bulk Meters will be installed at all large developments to measure the quantity of water
consumed by the development. However, individual meters will also be installed for each single unit and the Subtractive Billing Process, contained in the Customer Suite Application, will be used to manage the process.
10.0 Meter Reading
10.1 All meters installed will be read within 30 working days of the installation date. The Commission
will ensure that all meters are read at least once every two months. Where meter readings are unavailable, the Commission will bill customers using estimated readings based on the average of the last three actual meter readings.
10.2 The Commission is committed to ensuring the accuracy of all meter readings; however, where
there is a complaint regarding the accuracy of the meter readings, the Customer Relations Manager shall ensure that the complaint is thoroughly investigated and on completion of the investigation, the customer notified in writing of the findings and the actions taken or will be taken. The complaint shall be investigated and resolved within 30 working days of receipt.
10.3 The Vice Presidents responsible for Billing, Meter Reading and information Technology shall
ensure that the most efficient and technological appropriate method for capturing the meter readings is identified and implemented.
3.3 The Senior Manager responsible for metering shall appoint a Metering Committee, which shall
be responsible for determining and establishing the specification of the meters to be purchased. The specifications established must be in keeping with the standards specified by the Ministry of Health (MOH), Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and any other relevant Regulatory Body. The detailed specification of the meters purchased by the Commission is outlined in the Meter Installation Technical Manual.
3.4 In developing the specifications for the meters and associated fittings to be purchased, where
possible, consideration should be given to the location requirements as well as the conditions under which the meters will operate. The responsible Senior Manager shall ensure that the specifications are reviewed at least every two years, in order to ensure that they reflect changes in the needs of the Commission as well as changes in metrology technology. All changes in the specification shall be submitted to the Vice President responsible for Finance, Procurement and Inventory Management.
3.5 Prior to the purchase of meters, the Procurement Manager in conjunction with the Senior
Manager responsible for metering shall ensure that the meters and associated fittings to be purchased are in compliance with the specifications established.
3.6 The meter procurement process must be conducted in-keeping with the requirements of the
Government of Jamaica (G01) Public Sector Procurement Guidelines.
3.7 The Commission will comply with the testing requirements of the BSJ or any other recognized
body of which the BSJ is a member.
4.0 Storage and Distribution of Meters
4.1 The meters must be stored in accordance with the manufactures' Storage Instructions.
4.2 The Commission will ensure that there is an appropriate system in place to efficiently and
effectively manage the inventory and distribution of the meters purchased or recycled. The Senior Manager responsible for information Technology/ Systems shall be responsible for ensuring that there is an appropriate system in place to effectively track and monitor meters through the various stages of the meter life cycle.
4.3 The Commission shall ensure that appropriate records are kept of all meters distributed to
Contractors or In-house Work Crews for installation or replacement in the field.
5.0 Meter Request
5.1 Requests for meters will be accepted from the Occupier of the property.
5.2 The Commission will grant only one service connection to a property. However, the Commission
may, at its discretion grant multiple service connections to a single property. The number of connections shall not exceed three, including the original supply. Where this occurs, the meters and the associated accounts will be tied to the property. The Commission reserves the right to transfer outstanding amounts on one account to any other account that is tied to the property.
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BP 2003 Termination of Supply Contract
1.1 This policy states the guidelines governing the termination of supply contracts.
1.2 All requests for the termination of supply contracts must be made in writing to the
National Water Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission).
1.3 The disconnection of a supply for outstanding amounts owing on an account or other
specified charges does not constitute a termination of the customer's contract with the Commission.
2.1 For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions will apply:
3.1 The Termination of a Supply Contract can only be effected on the written request by
either the owner of the premises or his/her agent/ representative. On receipt of the request, the Commission shall ensure that all outstanding bills are settled. Once the service line has been removed, a Final Bill shall be generated and given to the customer for settlement. The Final Bill must be paid in full to ensure the conclusion of the Termination Contract.
3.2 A contract can be terminated and a new contract entered with a new customer without
the supply being disconnected/ removed, where this occurs, the supply will be transferred and a new contract established. Where the supply is removed, a new application and contract must be entered into before a Resupply can be executed.
4.0 Suspension of Supply
4.1 Customers requiring a Suspension of Service must apply to the Commission by
completing the Voluntary Suspension of Contract form. The form should be submitted to the Customer Care Office at least one month prior to the start of the Suspension.
4.2 All amounts owing on the account must be paid before a Suspension of Service Contract
can be completed.
4.3 The Suspension of Supply shall be for an initial period not exceeding six months.
However, the Commission reserves the right to grant an extension of a further six months. The period of suspension shall not exceed one year.
e. New Supply — an application for water supply services for a property that was not previously connected to the Commission's infrastructure or whose ownership has changed and a new contract of service is required.
f. Occupier — any person occupying as owner, tenant, mortgagee in possession, licensee or caretaker, for any property supplied with water by or obtaining water supply services from the Commission and includes any person responsible for payment of water rates in respect of the property.
g. Potable Water — raw water that has been treated and is suitable for domestic purposes, including, but not limited to drinking, cooking and personal hygiene.
h. Service Area — any area in Jamaica in respect of which consumers/ customer receive water supply services directly from the Commission.
i. Sewerage Systems — the system of sewers and their accessories by which sewage is intended to be collected, conveyed, treated and disposed of.
j. Special Contract Area — also referred to as, Informal Settlements, any area where groups of housing units have been constructed on land that the occupants have no legal claim or title.
k. Sub-division - land which has been divided into smaller lots for the purpose of constructing Residential or Commercial units to be sold individually.
I. Transfer of Ownership - where ownership of a property has changed and a new contract of service is required for the new owner
m. Water Supply Services — includes Sewerage Systems
Applying For Water Supply Services
3.1 In-keeping with Section 1.2 above, an individual or entity that requires Water Supply Services
may complete and submit to the Commission, the Application & Contract for Water Supply & Sewerage Services.
3.2 In addition to the completed Application Form, depending on the classification of the applicant,
s/he will be required to meet the criteria outline in the following sub-sections.
3.2.1 Applications From Owners
In order to establish a New Supply, the Commission requires the applicant to present:
3.2.2 Applications From Tenants
Subject to the written authorization of a landlord, a tenant may apply for Water Supply Services from the Commission. In these instances, the law holds both the landlord and tenant liable for outstanding rates and charges. The Tenant will be required to submit a Notarised Letter of Authorisation from the owner in addition to items (a) to (e) in sub-section 3.2.1 above.
3.2.3 Applications from Occupiers of Special Contract Area -Informal Settlement
Where an application for water is requested for a Special Contract Area the Commission will accept a Letter of Occupancy from the following:
Promoters or organisers of Special Events, who need water supply services, may also submit an application for these services. The applicant will be required to submit the following:
a. A Letter of Authorization from the owner of the property signed by one of the following:
b. Parish Council/KSA Permit for the event
c. Fire Department Permit for the event
d. A Deposit, based on the estimated number of patrons to attend the event, this does not include the installation cost of the supply.
This account will be established as a Commercial Account. The supply shall be terminated once the event is over and the customer settles all outstanding balances.
4.0 Provision of Water Supply Services
4.1 On receipt of the request for service, the Commission shall ensure that the relevant inspections
are conducted and that where the decision is taken to provide the service, this is done in keeping with the standards set by the Offices of Utilities Regulation (OUR).
4.2 All pipes or other fittings used for the conveyance, delivery or storage of water that are to be
installed on the customer's premises and connected to the Commission's infrastructure shall be in compliance with the Commission's standards and requirements. The customer shall be responsible for maintaining and servicing of the said pipes and fittings.
4.3 The Commission reserves the right to either remove all pipes or other fittings that do not
comply with its standards/ requirements or to disconnect the Water Supply Service to the property; this in-keeping with Section 5 of the National Water Commission Water Supply Services (Rates and Charges) Regulations, 1985.
4.4 The Commission will not permit any customer to place any unauthorized equipment such as
pressure pumps on its supply line. Customers making such connections do so illegally and where they are found they will be disconnected and the equipment confiscated. All costs incurred as a result of this illegal activity will be borne by the customer.
4.5 The Commission or its agents are duly authorized to enter any premises that it supplies with
water any time between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. The purpose being to read the water meters, examine the pipes and/ or appliance or equipment used on the premises in connection with the supply of water or for the purpose of locking off or restoring the supply of water to the premises . Work extended outside of the times specified must be with the customer's permission.
5.0 Application for Additional Supplies
5.1 The Commission will grant only one service connection to a property. However, the Commission
may, at its discretion grant multiple service connections to a single property. Where this occurs, the meters and the associated accounts will be tied to the property. Also, the number of service connections to a property shall not exceed three, that is the original supply and up to two additional supplies.
5.2 The request for additional supplies must be made in writing by the owner of the property or his/
her authorised agent and should be submitted to the Customer Care Office in the region. The Customer Care Manager shall ensure that a detailed assessment of the customer's management of the existing account is conducted and an inspection of the property is completed prior to the granting of the request.
5.3 It should be noted that the request will only be granted if the existing infrastructure can support
the supply. The installation of an additional supply on the existing infrastructure may result in a fall in the level of service as it relates to water pressure. Therefore, where the additional supply is for the same property occupied by the customer making request and an upgrade in the infrastructure is required, the customer will be responsible for the costs associated with the upgrade. If, on the other hand, the impact on the level of service will be felt by other neighbouring customers, the Commission reserves the right not to grant the request.
5.4 All requests for four or more supplies will be treated in a similar manner as a sub-division
The Commission also reserves the right to transfer outstanding amounts on any account to any
other account that is tied to the property whether active or inactive. The owner of the property shall be responsible for all charges incurred for Water Supply Services.
6.0 Application for Sub-divisions
6.1 Applications for land development or subdivision are normally submitted to the Parish Council
Department in the respective parish for which the Development or Subdivision is proposed. The Parish Council Department is responsible for forwarding the application to the Commission, and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), which has responsibility for coordinating the approval process.
6.2 The Commission is required to provide NEPA with an assessment on the availability of Water
Supply Services for the proposed development.
6.3 The Commission also accepts Subdivision Enquiries about the availability of Water Supply
Services. All Sub-division Applications and Enquiries must be submitted to the Vice President responsible for the Sub-division Unit.
7.0 Transfer of Ownership
7.1 Where a request for the transfer of ownership is being made, the applicant must complete the
Application and Contract form and submit same along with the following Proof of Ownership:
7.2 Where the application is being made by an Agent, a duly notarised Letter of Authorisation must
be submitted along with the documents outlined at 7.1 above.
7.3 The Commission reserves the right to request additional documentation from any applicant,
where it is deemed necessary to assist in establishing proof of ownership of the property when processing the request.
8.0 Infrastructure on Customer's Property
8.1 The Vice President responsible for the Property Unit or his designate shall be responsible for
negotiating with property owners for proprietary rights, for the purpose of installing pipelines or tanks. The property owners shall be compensated for these rights; under no circumstances should the property owner be given Water Supply Services in exchange for the proprietary rights.