Electricity distribution companies have received customer complaints regarding the method of calculating electricity consumption, especially from those who have pre-paid meters.
Some people said that, when they recharge their pre-paid cards, additional amounts are deducted from the total value under “instalments” element, despite their having paid the full value of the meter.
Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy Spokesperson Ayman Hamza told Daily News Egypt that there is no difference between the traditional and pre-paid meters in terms of calculating consumption. The only difference in the new system is that the user is required to pay in advance.
Hamza explained that in the event of insufficient funds on the electricity card, the unpaid funds will still automatically be deducted when recharging the card. In this context, the element “instalments” refers to upgrading the consumption pattern.
He added that customers will see the difference between the value of charging card and the balance remaining after inserting the card into the meter.
Upgrading the consumption pattern does not appear during the same month, as the value equates that on the meter. It is, as a result, deferred to the following month and deducted when the meter is recharged.
The method of calculation consumption on pre-paid meters is based on the number of kilowatts (kW) consumed, multiplied by the price of the pattern that the customer uses. Charges for customer service, tax, stamp duty, and cleaning fees are also included on the final bill.
Hamza explained that electricity prices are subsidised up until 650 kW. Should the user consume more than 650 kW, the electricity price will be charged without any subsidies. He added that the subscriber is charged a reduced price for the first two tranches, namely from 0 to 50 kW for the first tranche, and from 51 to 100 kW for the second tranche.
July electricity bills, the first to be issued since the latest increase in electricity prices approved by the Council of Ministers was put into effect, have caused numerous complaints from customers. Electricity distribution companies have received numerous complaints from subscribers due to the hike in billing prices, on the back of the government move lifting energy subsidies.
Despite more than two weeks having passed since the collection of charges for July consumption bills, the collection rates have yet to exceed 80% for all distribution companies.
An Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) source noted that the low rate of collection was due to the collection period coinciding with the nationwide Eid Al-Adha holiday.