Savannah hires firm to look at water utility billing

Savannah hires firm to look at water utility billing

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah City Council received an update on the nightmare many residents faced with their water bills.

City leaders heard from an auditing firm Thursday about ways to improve and how to restore the public's trust in them and the city utility.

Many of you walked through the door with complaints about your bills. One thing easy to recognize is that last year was a disaster when it comes to billing and interacting with citizens.

The city first recognized this problem after the first quarter of 2016. That resulted in changing the billing plans for the rest of the year. In turn, leading to mass confusion and a lot of inaccurate bills for consumers.

KPMG started their audit in May of this year. They focused on five main areas: administration, customer services, meter reading, billing, and collection. They found and offered solutions to almost two dozen problems they found.

The biggest recommendations are to change the meters to ones that are read automatically.

The next thing is to change to a monthly billing process instead of bi-monthly. Implementing both would require hiring more people.

From the city's perspective, they want people to know they're looking forward and addressing the problems.

"We wanted them to give us recommendations for how we can improve moving forward. And focus on restoring the public trust, and making sure that you're being efficient, transparent, and that we are accurately billing people moving forward," said Director of Internal Auditing Megan Duffy.

The city council and city manager were very receptive to these findings. They hope that making these changes puts most of the problems from last year to bed.

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