CUC billing error continued unnoticed for seven years
The Caribbean Utilities Company has presented a bill for nearly half a million dollars to Water Authority-Cayman.
The $487,283.78 bill for the electricity account at the Grand Cayman Wastewater Treatment Plant was run up between December 2004 and May 2011 because of an ongoing billing error that was discovered for seven years, minutes of the Water Authority board meetings have revealed.
According to the minutes of an 18 April meeting, CUC agreed to accept payment of $417,997, which represents the outstanding amount for the period between April 2006 and April 2011, to be paid in 36 monthly instalments. That offer, put forward in a letter from CUC’s lawyers at Appleby, was only open until 20 April.
Water Authority board members say they will not be hurried into making a decision over paying the bill.
“Although there is no dispute whether or not the authority used the electricity, the authority’s position is that there should be some limitation on how far back CUC can go to correct their errors,” the minutes stated.
One board member suggested that the Water Authority should contact the Electricity Regulatory Authority regarding the extent of limitations regarding errors.
“The authority is of the opinion that this has been outstanding for a long time and does not deem it necessary to be rushed into a decision by CUC’s legal team. The authority is working toward an equitable solution, but that may take some time,” the minutes continued.
The Water Authority’s lawyers at Mourant Ozannes responded to CUC’s demands for payment of the outstanding bill.
According to the minutes, the large bill came about due to a mistake with CUC’s billing multiplier. A billing multiplier is a number by which the meter reading is multiplied by to arrive at actual consumption in kilowatt hours.
Asked to comment on the billing error and any arrangements that had been made for the Water Authority to pay the bill, the electricity company responded: “CUC does not discuss details of customers’ bills.”
The Water Authority-Cayman board members say they will not be hurried into taking a decision over paying the bill.