Te Aponga Uira (TAU) is moving to digital billing as part of its journey to becoming more efficient, environmentally responsible, and customer-centred.
From 4th October 2023, customers will receive bills by email, with domestic meters read once every three months and estimated bills provided the other months. Already, almost 70% of customers receive bills by email, and having all customers receive bills this way will save customers time and will help TAU be more efficient. It also sets TAU and its customers up to be ready for additional new technologies in future, like smarter meters and online payments. Business customers will continue to have meters read monthly, although their meter reading dates may change.
The current system is inefficient, with meter readers travelling up to 60 kms a day to cover all of Rarotonga each month, regularly through rain and encountering aggressive dogs, and often not able to access properties as a result. Paper bills printed on the spot are often lost or misplaced, resulting in TAU’s customer service team needing to contact customers who can’t find their printed bill. This results in an inefficient spend of time and TAU resources. Those bills are also printed on specially coated paper which is costly, fades quickly in the sun, and are easily lost or blown away, adding to landfill.
“Moving to an electronic billing system brings TAU firmly into the 21st century and makes life easier for our customers”, said Lesley Katoa, TAU Chief Executive Officer. “We know our customers have a lot on their plates, and receiving their bills by email will make it easier for them to stay on top of payments as bills will be more regular and be delivered directly to the customer’s inbox. Moving to a three-monthly cycle combining meter readings with estimated readings means our staff can work more efficiently and safely too, which is critical to the wellbeing of our workforce.”
“The majority of our customers already receive bills by email. We know some of our customers, particularly our elderly customers, may not have email or use the internet regularly, so we are making it easy for them to nominate someone else to receive their electronic bill for them. Alternatively, customers can continue to phone us on 20054 or visit our office between 8am and 4pm Monday-Friday where they can receive a hard copy bill and also pay in person.”
TAU is asking all customers now to ensure they have an email address registered for their account. They can do so by phoning TAU on 20054. If a customer doesn’t have email, they can nominate another person to receive their bill by email by providing written authority from the account holder, by email or in person.