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Understanding Your Water Bill

Water Charges In Bali Indonesia

How much do we pay for water in Indonesia? Here we look at how to understand your water charges, read your water bill, the price charged per cubic metre, penalties for non payment and defining the type of dwelling for charging purposes.

Let us have a look at your water bill and work out the information on it, how to read it and how the calculations are made. Here is an example of a Denpasar City water bill translated into English:

denpasar water bill

The header of the bill gives the company details of the water supplier, the Denpasar City Regional Drinking Water Company (incidentally PDAM stands for Perusahaan Daerah Air Minum)

Under the header we have the details of the customer; the area, billing month, name, address area and the bill number. On the next line is probably the most important piece of information - the GoL, which is not short for Gollum, it stands for 'golongan' or classification which determines the tariff you are on and the amount you will be charged for water.

Water price per cubic metre in Bali.

The tariffs and prices are all laid out in your PDAM company's schedule of rates which I couldn't print here - it is simply far too long. You can find and download the 2015 schedules for Denpasar PDAM at Denpasar-water-rates-2014.pdf and for Badung at Badung-water-rates-2014.pdf Otherwise you can obtain the latest schedule of rates from your local PDAM office.

The schedule may seem a little complicated but don't panic, we'll take it a step at a time. First our tariff is based on the type of customer with categories for Social, Domestic, Commercial, Government and Industrial consumers.

Within the Domestic and Commercial categories we are further categorised according to the width of our front street. So take your tape measure, go outside and measure the width of the street in front of your property including the gots (drainage channels), goats and grass verges. There are 4 road size ranges:- less than 3.99 metres, 4 to 6.99 metres, 7 to 10 metres and over 10 metres.

Next, within most categories we are categorised yet again according to how much electrical power we have connected to the property, so take your torch and check your electricity meter, the categories are: 450, 900, 900 to 2200 and over 2200 watts.

In our example bill GoL is D3-4 which is a domestic rate for a house with a road 7 to 10 metres wide and with a PLN connection of more than 2,200 watts. If you look up the schedule you will find that the first 10 M3 ( M3 means cubic metres) of water costs Rp2,410 per M3, the next 10 M3 costs 2,950 per M3 and anything over that costs Rp4,730 per M3.

Ok so we now know our tariff so go back to the bill. Next we come to the meter listing starting with the meter readings of 7,226 M3 for the previous month and 7,341 M3 for this month - a consumption (Pemakaian) of 115 M3 used in the month (that's a lot of water).

Water Bill Calculation - Denpasar.

First we have to pay an "abonemen" - a subscription or fixed cost which in Denpasar is the equivalent of the first 10 or 20 M3 (depending on the tariff), you have to pay this whether you use it or not. On Tariff D3-4 this is 10 M3 @ Rp2,410 = Rp24,100.

Next we have the second pricing tier of water which on D3-4 is more than 10 and up to 20 M3 at a cost of Rp2,940 per M3.

Finally we have to pay for anything over that which on D3-4 is anything more than 20 M3 at a cost of Rp4,730 per M3.

This gives us a total cost of Rp 502,850 for the water. We now add on a charge of Rp7,500 for maintaining the water meter (Biaya Pemeliharaan Meter) and a stamp duty (meterai) of Rp6,000.

Penalties for non payment

If we don't pay on time we have to pay penalties (Denda). If we are a month late in payment we are charged a penalty (Denda I) of Rp10,000, if 2 months overdue (Denda II) another Rp15,000, if 3 months overdue (Denda III) an additional Rp100,000. Once you go over 3 months the water company will start the process of cutting you off. In our example the customer has been naughty and is 3 months late so has penalties of 10,000 + 15,000 + 100,000 = Rp 125,000.

We now add the length in inches of your mother in law's pet dog and finally take away the number you first thought of.

This gives us a final total bill of Rp 641,350.

Water Bill Calculation - Badung.

The regency of Badung is somewhat simpler than Denpasar. The initial fixed cost is determined by the size of the PDAM pipe entering your property. The different categories of customer are generally the same and Badung also charge different prices per M3. Also in Badung water prices are not related to the size of your electricity supply.

In Badung the above example customer would be on a D3 tariff, if they have a PDAM supply pipe 1inch diameter they will pay a fixed cost of Rp26,100 then Rp3,114 for the first 10 M3, Rp3,993 for the next 10 M3 and Rp 6,141 for the 95 M3 above that. Badung sell you the water meter in the first place for Rp1,500,000 so they do not charge the Rp7,500 meter maintenance cost. They do charge the standard stamp duty of Rp6,000 and they charge penalties for late payment of Rp5,000 for the first month, Rp10,000 for the second month and Rp100,000 above that. This would give a total comparative bill in Badung of Rp801,535.

But now we come to an area of concern. If you are in Denpasar and your house is designated a "villa" with a private pool you will not be on a domestic tariff you will be put onto an Industrial tariff F1-4. If you are in Badung and your house is classified as a villa in the IMB (building permit) you will also probably be on an Industrial tariff F1.

This will dramatically increase your water bills and our example Denpasar bill under F1-4 would become Rp1,668,600 and in Badung under F1 would become Rp1,604,770. The concept of "wounded bulls" suddenly springs to mind.

Defining a Villa.

Villas are charged far more than a house but how do we define a villa? It is generally understood that if you have a swimming pool your house is a villa. Unfortunately the decision is in the hands of the officials of the water company.

Copyright © Phil Wilson October 2015
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