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We get hot and cold water to your apartment simply and cost effectively. This is because we specialise in designing, installing and maintaining water transportation systems, in the process of looking after your systems we collect information on all the related systems in your building. We provide peace of mind in knowing that there is someone working 24hrs ensuring you have hot water when you want it at the same time as receiving great value for money – a benefit of the significant discount we obtain in purchasing bulk energy from our supplier.

Following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about our services. If there is a query we haven’t answered below please contact us – our staff are happy to help!

Frequent Questions & Answers regarding Reticulated Water Systems and “User-Pays” Billing

What is a Reticulated Hot Water (RHW) or a Reticulated Cold Water (RCW) system?
Both are Reticulated Water systems in which water is delivered to your residence. Hot Water systems comprise a number of electric or gas fired water heating appliances and a network of water pipes for the supply and distribution of hot water to each apartment. This type of system is usually found in larger buildings where there will also be a Reticulated Cold Water (RCW) system.

What are the advantages of an RHW system?
Removing the need for a hot water cylinder increases storage space within apartments, they provide better energy efficiency and lower overall building energy costs (gas is cheaper than electric cylinder to heat water), a lower electrical demand by a large apartment building means a lower network charge), faster recovery of water heating and improved ability to cope with peak hot water demand.

What is a “User-Pays” Reticulated Hot Water (RHW) billing system?
It is a cost recovery billing system whereby all the water, energy and delivery costs associated with the RHW supply to your apartment are proportionally recovered based on your actual hot water consumption.

Why is there a daily charge?
Because there are daily accrued costs associated with an RHW system and the delivering of our services to your apartment 24hrs per day, independently of any quantity of water or energy used. You pay this charge only for the period you are connected to our system.

How is this daily charge rate determined?
The daily charge consists of our costs associated with upgrading to energy metering (where applicable) and with the delivery of hot water to your apartment, from the energy supply to our meter and in some cases to the tap outlet. Our contracts and terms vary from site to site and are related to our cost of business associated with your site, in the same manner as any other utility provider except we do not charge a daily fixed charge if there is no EEL customer in the residence we supply.

What is the variable charge?
With hot water this is the proportioned cost of a unit volume of hot water based on the energy cost associated with heating that volume. With cold and waste water it is the total volume of water and waste water used in the billing period.

How do you determine the quantity of hot or cold water I use?
We use mechanical logging water meters and in many buildings, we have remote reading technology to record the volume of water consumed each month at your apartment.

Is the variable charge competitive?
We use our years of experience working with energy suppliers and higher commercial value of combined gas volumes for similar systems in other buildings to attract competitive, long term supply contracts. Even with our management margin for processing and managing these energy accounts the rates we offer are considerably more competitive than standard residential tariffs.

What is a Waste Water volume charge?
The waste water volume charge is a charge imposed by the local water authority or city council and determined as a percentage of the total water used. Please note this cost regime currently does not affect our Wellington customers. The nominated rate is often higher than the water charge as the cost of removing water via the underground sewage network is higher than the cost associated with the water delivery network. In some cases the waste water is charged at less than 100% of total water used in recognition of the fact that in some properties not all the water delivered is discharged down the waste water system (eg: irrigation or car washing). A large majority of central city apartment buildings have no such water use and are charged 100% of the water supplied.

Who agreed to implement a “User-Pays” RHW billing system within my building?
The Body Corporate accepted our tender employing Easy Energy Ltd to implement and maintain a “User-Pays” hot water system to your apartment building.

Do I have to connect to this RHW supply?
You are under no obligation to connect to any Reticulated Water system within your building however you may not be able to reside in a property without the minimum of cold water for sanitation. Your options for sourcing an alternative supply of hot water to your apartment will be prescribed within the Body Corporate rules and regulations for your building. Please note separate hot water systems can only be installed with prior Body Corporate and/or property owner approval, and would also be subject to the local Territorial Authority (Council) Building Consent process and the NZ Building Code regulations.

Can I disconnect from the system if I am away to avoid charges?
You may advise us in advance that you wish to disconnect from the system. A disconnection fee will be charged with a final reading taken. Upon your return to the apartment you may be reconnected again with a new connection charge being applied. For extended periods away from your apartment (for example longer than 3 months) this is a financially viable option.

How is water and waste water charged?
A metered water supply at the water entry to each property is how a water utility provider charges for consumption. This charge may or may not include waste water as a percentage of water used. Waste water can also be part of some territorial authority (councils) property rates charges. This methodology may also change from time to time as required by the local authority or water utility provider.

What happens if the local council or water authority changes water charges?
Regardless of when a tenancy commenced, if the supplier of water and waste water changes the way they bill during the course of a tenancy and there is no provision for this change in the tenancy agreement or in the agreement between the water supplier and the Tenant, then a the Tenant and the Landlord should agree to a written variation to the tenancy agreement. The variation will need to record any new payment responsibilities (i.e who is responsible for payment – Tenant or Landlord) resulting from the suppliers’ change of billing.

Who is responsible for my water supply?
The water supply authority or provider is responsible for ensuring that water and waste water are provided to the boundary of your property. Landlords are responsible for ensuring there is an adequate supply of water from their property boundary to their rental properties. In some properties, Landlords have assigned Easy Energy the rights to ensure that water supply is delivered within a building. Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, a Tenant is responsible for water and waste water charges, where the local authority or water supplier charges for water on the basis of consumption and the water is metered.

How do Body Corporate rules affect my water & waste water charges?
If your property is part of a Unit Title development, the Body Corporate rules form part of the tenancy agreement. If the Body Corporate rules regulate the supply of water amongst the units, then Tenants should be provided details of the relevant body corporate rules as part of the tenancy agreement.

References to the Residential Tenancies Act

Who is responsible for water charges in a residential tenancy?

a) For tenancies that commenced from 1 October 2010, it is no longer necessary to record in a tenancy agreement that the Tenant will pay for metered water. A Tenant is responsible for outgoings that are exclusively attributable to their tenancy. This includes electricity, gas, phone and metered water/waste water.

b) For tenancies that commenced prior to 1 October 2010, if the Landlord wants to incorporate the new responsibilities for water supply and other outgoings he will need to formally agree to vary the terms of the tenancy agreement with the Tenant.

Who is responsible for paying for my water consumption?

a) Where the water supplier, including Easy Energy, contracts with the Landlord, and the Landlord passes the obligation to pay water charges on to the Tenant, the Tenant is obliged to pay the water charges. If the Tenant pays the charges to the Landlord but the Landlord does not pay the water supplier and the water is disconnected, the Landlord may be held responsible to pay for the reconnection of the water supply.

b) For tenancies that commenced from 1 October 2010, Tenants may be charged for waste water where the waste water charge is exclusively attributable to the Tenant’s use. Some water suppliers now include calculations of waste water by reference to water supplied. For tenancies that commenced before 1 October 2010, if the parties want to incorporate the new responsibilities for water supply and other outgoings, the parties will need to formally agree to vary the terms of the tenancy agreement.

What can happen if I don’t pay my water charges?
If a Tenant fails to pay the water charges in accordance with the terms of supply, a notice of disconnection or water restriction may be issued and debt recovery process commenced. Disconnection of water to your property is, in most instances, a breach of the tenancy agreement and a Landlord can issue the Tenant with a 14 days’ notice to remedy the breach. Refusal to remedy a breach of a tenancy agreement can result in a Tenancy Tribunal application. This is in addition to the terms of supply between Easy Energy and a Tenant or Resident connected as an Easy Energy customer.

Can I dispute my water charges with the Tenancy Tribunal?
If you feel that you have not been treated in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act or your Tenancy Agreement, you may apply to take your Landlord to the Tenancy Tribunal for a hearing and ruling. Your water services provider, which may be a local water authority, city council or Easy Energy, are not a Landlord or a Tenant and therefore not part of this disputes process; they can however provide evidence, be witnesses and lodge a Statement of Claim for costs with a Tenant or Landlord as part of this process.

I am a Tenant so why do I have to pay a daily fixed charge?
We charge a daily fixed charge to any customer that is connected to our network, in the same methodology as other utilities providers (phone, electricity or gas retailers) charge theirs. We have the same charging mechanism whether we are supplying and charging only for the energy to heat water or for the supply of both hot and cold water, or any other forms of energy we may supply to your apartment.

The Easy Energy daily fixed charge is not required to differentiate between Tenants or Landlords and we only charge for customers that are connected to our network; there is no daily fixed charge to a Landlord should an apartment be vacant. Our daily fixed charge is for the cost recovery of our services and costs, up to and including our metering technology installed at or within each apartment.