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What is the purpose of a water meter? To measure the amount of water delivered to a household. A water meters main function is to register the amount of water consumed by a customer so that an accurate bill can be charged.
The purpose of a prepaid water meter eliminates the risk of utility bills not being paid. If all transactions are on a prepaid basis then the consumer in most cases a tenant, will always know exactly how much water they use and can budget accordingly. Having a prepaid water meter instead of a post-paid water meter will also reduce unjust billing or confusion between landlords and tenants, where as you only pay for what you actually consume.
This in turn is also a risk reducing factor for landlords. In today’s economy, utilities have become 50% of the actual rental fee. In an attempt to recover the loss landlords have started water restricting, reducing the flow of water to un-paying tenants. This is illegal however and tenants resort to using a drip-bucket system.
In order to solve this problem which is mainly seen in Metropolitan cities where it is either too difficult to obtain an accurate reading or tenants are making it too difficult for meter readers to take an accurate reading. Installing a prepaid water meter would be the solution. Since it works on a pay as you go basis, tenants will only have water if they purchase them. They in turn will also be protected from having to pay for another users miss use of utilities if for example they were living in a sectional title scheme, where bills are divided and you are billed based on an aggregate and not an actual reading per unit.
That being said, Prepaid water meters are not only for trouble areas or remote areas where access isn’t easily granted. Sectional title schemes and body corporates can and do benefit from installing prepaid water meters into their developments. They in turn have the same pros and cons as mentioned above.
Installing a prepaid water meter or a prepaid system for other utilities like electricity and gas can help any individual, household or sectional title scheme become more energy efficient, cost effective and improve the quality of life with minimal initial investment cost.
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