Nakuru water firm introduces a new billing system

Wednesday May 13 2020
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Nakuru Water, Sanitation and Services Company Managing Director James Ng’ang’a (left), Finance Manager Isaiah Makori (centre) and Technical Manager Margaret Kinyanjui (right) at Nawassco headquarters on April, 28, 2020. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By FRANCIS MUREITHI

Nakuru Water Services and Sanitation Company (Nawassco) has introduced a new billing system for its consumers.

The integrated digitised water billing system seeks to enhance accuracy.

Before the new smart billing system was introduced, the water provider received numerous complaints of inflated bills from customers.

Nawassco Managing Director James Ng’ang’a Gachathi said the new system will enable the company improve its services by eliminating estimated billing.

REAL TIME BILLS

“With this new system, consumers will never be billed on estimates and instead, they will receive real time bills and due dates hours after the meter is read,” said Mr Ng’ang’a.

He said the system uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) which gives the exact location the meter, the image of the meter and its accurate reading.

He added that the new system will help the company to track water consumption patterns of its 45,000 customers.

“This is very critical to our water efficiency programme as we shall have useful data to be used during expansion and any other improvement,” said Mr Ng’ang’a.

The new system which came into effect in January, has enabled consumers to pay their bills via online platforms and mobile money transfer.

The company has recorded an improvement in revenue collection.

“We were steadily improving in revenue collection until coronavirus pandemic struck and most of the consumers have delayed in paying their bills,” said Mr Ng’ang’a.

GENERATE BILLS

Under the new system, meter readers use smart phones to take images of the meter and its readings and remotely sends the readings to the main server at the Nawassco headquarters which in return generates bills.

Once the bill is generated, it is sent to customers via email or text message within hours to enable consumers make payments through M-Pesa or agents appointed by the company.

“We have overhauled our billing system and the beauty of the new system is that the bill is processed on the same day the meter is read,” added Mr Ng’ang’a.

The official revealed that the system has also eliminated manual processing of the bill which was prone to many errors.

The software system, which was developed by Nairobi-based local software company, Smart People Africa Limited, has been programmed to alert consumers to pay their bills two days before due date.