New billing system means not all customers are paying equally for water

Water usage

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Every time Oahu residents get their water-sewer bill, you have to pay a billing charge of $7.70.  It used to be about every 60 days, now it’s every month.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply says that helps to cover current and future costs of its new customer care and billing system, meter maintenance, and staffing.

Maui and Kauai also have access to this new billing system, but they’re not paying extra fees for it.

“How is it effecting all of our bills here on the island of Oahu?,” City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi said.

Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi has been fielding a lot of questions from residents in her area about the increased billing fee per month.

“Is ours doubled because we are taking on the neighbor island processing their bills, is that why ours is doubling we want answers,” Kobayashi said.

The Board of Water Supply says Oahu does charge the 2 other counties to access the system and for IT support.

Kauai pays about thirty-one cents per bill rendered, Maui thirty-three cents per bill rendered.

A price tag that does not include current and future costs of the new billing system.

“The main concern is the unfairness and the burden on the ratepayers here,” Envirowatch Carroll Cox said.

Cox says that’s simply not right – and unwarranted.

“We the ratepayers here in Honolulu can’t afford the luxury of giving to others while we’re being taxed for the processing fee,” Cox said.

The Board of Water Supply says each county does pay for its own billing staff as well as the printing and mailing costs of its bills each month.

“Whatever Maui and Kauai is paying it should be put together to offset the total cost on Honolulu,” Cox said.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply says it plans to re-negotiate the cost Maui and Kauai currently pay for the system to factor in the current and future price of the new billing system.

Board of Water Supply website

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