Recent water and electric bills ‘based on estimate’ – utilities react to complaints about rising prices

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Utility companies CEM and Macao Water said the calculation of recent bills was based on an “estimate of previous average usage” because on-site meter reading was suspended during the pandemic outbreak. It comes as some citizens revealed on social media that the electricity and water charges shown on the utility bill they received this month were significantly higher than before and questioned CEM and Macao Water billing standards.

CEM’s customer service manager Uman Cheang told TDM that the utility company suspended on-site meter reading due to the pandemic outbreak that hit the city in mid-June, and the invoice amount was calculated from “an estimate based on previous average usage”.

The manager also pointed out that some users “misunderstood the reason why the electricity fee is higher”, and explained that the amount of the bill in August is the result of the addition of the electricity bills of the 2 previous months or more.

“Electricity prices have not changed much from prices at the same time last year,” Cheang said, “and electricity consumption in residential areas has increased by 12 percent. year-on-year in June with citizens staying at home due to pandemic outbreak plus summer effect.

Some citizens shared their electricity and water bills on social media

Meanwhile, Macau Water Deputy General Manager Chu Wai Man also said meter reading had been suspended due to the pandemic and water bills would be drawn on “an estimate with reference to the water use during the same period last year”. .

He noted that in July, water supply fell by 10% year-on-year and non-domestic water consumption dropped significantly due to the pandemic, especially for entertainment venues, hotels and catering companies.

In addition, the director pointed out that some customers with low water consumption may be exempted from paying the water fee after deducting the subsidy.

Macau Water announced earlier in July that a monthly subsidy of MOP 100 would be given to households from July to December, while the subsidy is valid for one year and can be used until the end of June next year.

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