Mali does not (yet) work with a system of an annual bill for water and electricity. Every month a man knocks at the door to read the meters. Even though he does have some electronic device to register the numbers, for some reason he writes them down on a piece of paper. And some time after the day of his visit the bills will arrive. It might take another month, but sooner or later they will arrive.
Since the time in between two readings is never exactly a month – it may vary from 3 to 6 weeks – and seasonal influences such as using more water during the dry and hot seasons and more electricity for fans and fridge when it’s warm do influence the consumption, it’s always kind of a surprise how high the bills will be.
So, other than doing a quick scan of the amount to be paid, resulting in feelings of being relieved or it not being too bad, I’ve not been paying too much attention to them.
That is, up till recently, when I noticed that we had a 0 water bill. It turned out that they had mixed up the numbers the month before. So, I had already paid for it.
Today’s surprise was a sky high electricity bill, that made my face turn pale, I guess. I know for sure that my heart skipped a beat. Oh no, that new fridge is just as big a disaster as the second hand one, was my first thought…
And then I again noticed that the water bill couldn’t be right.
I gave it some thoughts, read the meters, collected all the bills over the last year and made a nice Excel spreadsheet. How I love it!
The outcome was surprising.
With all their computer programs and monthly visits they manage to make a big mess of the numbers on an almost every bill.
At least I can heave a sigh of relief: the fridge seems to be doing fine and the electricity company has a bit to refund me! Of course I’d rather put my energy in other stuff, but hey, it’s Mali… 🙂
Now I’ll only have to find a lot of time and energy for a visit with the electricity company. It may take a few hours, but with a bit of luck I’ll manage to make it clear. Fingers crossed…