The soaring electricity bills


Okaz newspaper

THE Saudi Electricity Company’s supreme vice president for communications and public relations Hamoud Al-Ghobaili says, according to press reports, the rise in electricity bills for the current month was not only natural but also expected because the temperature in the month of June is higher than that of May.

Subsequently, the consumption will reach the highest level with 70 percent of supply being used for operating air-conditioners. He also emphasized that the high bill comes following an increase in electricity tariff. He added that as a result of this situation, the difference between the bill for last year and this year will be between 17 percent and 260 percent.

I would like to tell the company’s supreme vice president that the matter is not that natural. Everybody had this information and there is nothing new in it and they will not attribute the skyrocketing prices this month to this piece of information provided by him. There is another matter that people do not know and they are unable to have a grasp of.

We request you to deal with us considering the level of our understanding. You have to explain to us the reason for the increase in electricity bills this month by 2 or 3 times for the same house and in the same season, and this has taken place months after the tariff hike.

I would like to request you to solve this mystery if you can as it has amazed several people. It’s the high electricity bills for houses that were either closed or used only a few days of the month as if it was used throughout the month.

This is a fact and if you follow the hashtag on electricity bill that appeared last Thursday you will not be able to deny the fact that has been confirmed by a large number of people. Dear supreme vice president, it is not the mistake of the consumer that you had to issue 9 million bills in 24 hours, contrary to the system followed in the past, as you have mentioned in your statement.

If that was the reason for the huge bills, it is your mistake and you should not ask all the 9 million subscribers to visit your office to correct that mistake. You have created so many problems and this will not be the last one. And if this is the situation in the beginning of summer, I am afraid things would not be any better in the coming days.

Secondly, I would like to inform the decision-makers in our country that citizens have accepted with satisfaction all the measures taken by the state, including the increase in prices of utility bills. But this should not prevent us from revising some of our decisions, especially the new electricity tariff, considering their negative effect on certain segments of citizens.

We should know that for many people electricity bills are a big burden. They are poor and live in small houses on social insurance payouts. These people will not be able to pay high electricity bills that exceed their monthly income. Citizens’ demand for revising the electricity tariff and improvement of the performance of the electricity company should no go unheeded.