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Surging power bills spark anger

Surging power bills spark anger

BANGKOK: Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong will meet power authorities urgently on Monday (Apr 20) to iron out growing complaints by households over unusually high electricity bills.


By Bangkok Post

Monday 20 April 2020, 09:39AM


A notice by the PEA explaining that people using air conditioners can save money by setting the temperature to 26-27°C instead of 23-24°C. Image: PEA

A notice by the PEA explaining that people using air conditioners can save money by setting the temperature to 26-27°C instead of 23-24°C. Image: PEA

Many social media users were taken aback by their electricity bills having doubled, or even tripled, in the past month.

They are demanding the government find a solution, insisting they have worked from home to prevent COVID-19 spreading and it is now time for the government to help them with the resulting increase in demand for electricity. Several complaints said the increase – even given the increase in demand – were still abnormally high.

On his Facebook, Mr Sontirat said yesterday he would call an urgent meeting with the Energy Regulatory Commission and related agencies to decide on electricity-related measures, on top of those already rolled out to help alle­viate the plight of the public.

The measures already in place are free electricity for small households, returning the home electricity meter deposit to 21 million households and a temporary 3% discount on electricity rates.

Many complainants said they had used the deposit return to pay the steep bills.

In his tweet, Mr Sontirat, also secretary-general of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, said in response to the complaints: “I’m not taking the matter lightly.”

Senator Kamnoon Sidhisamarn, on his Facebook, conveyed the experience of a friend who lives in a tiny condominium and usually paid between B1,600 and B1,900 a month before the stay-at-home policy came.

His latest bill shows he owed B3,400. The 3% discount works out to around 100 baht, which is not much, Mr Kamnoon said.

The senator said the government should waive the first B1,000 of electricity charges and offer a 50% discount for the rest of the bill over the next three months. “That would help them cope with financial burden during the current crisis,” Mr Kamnoon said.

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Mr Kamnoon, a member of the Senate standing committee on tackling poverty and social disparity, asked Mr Sontirat take up on his idea and pass it to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

A Facebook user named Nattee Taweesit said his power bill surged from B1,800 to B3,800, and later to B6,000 last month. He called the hike outrageous.

“Even if three more air conditioners and two refrigerators were installed, the charge shouldn’t have jumped three or four times,” he said. “This is a household, not a factory,” he added.

Pol Lt Col Ekkarat Hun-ngam, chief of Bang Saphan Noi Police Station in Prachuap Khiri Khan who ran in last year’s general election under the Thai Liberal Party’s banner, said his electricity bill has risen from B900 to B2,000 a month.

His post drew responses from other Facebook users who shared a similar experience about rising electricity costs over the past few months.

Meanwhile, Somphong Prempri, governor of Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), said consumers with queries about their bills should inform the PEA. A major spike in electricity bills may have stemmed from an increase in energy consumption during the hot summer months.

However, he admitted a three-fold increase is not normal and needs to be looked at. Electrical leakage can also cause high bills, he said, adding the PEA usually compensates consumers in that case.

 

Read original story here.

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Kurt | 21 April 2020 - 12:07:04

@JohnC, thx for advice. There is a limit on what one can do with insulation at existing house situations.. So, here in the morning ceiling fans, afternoon/early evening airco on( 28 degrees feels fine).Sleeping with ceiling fans and open windows( with mosquito screens) and no blanket. I found a balance between comfort and energy saving. ( good for environment).

JohnC | 21 April 2020 - 09:11:46

@kurt. If you turn on your a/c unit at 28C then all you are doing is wasting electricity and adding wear and tear to it for nothing. You are obviously not a Refrigeration Technician otherwise you wouldn't be offering out such stupid advice to people. Try insulating your house or keeping all doors, windows and blinds closed from morning to keep out the heat of the day out.

Mj | 20 April 2020 - 17:07:19

Something must be wrong with PEA
Normally we have an Electric bill between 14 - 16 K per month. Today I received the bill and it was on 36,500
Our Life and use of the electric is the same for many many years. No difference from us using the electric, Same every month. Recently we have not used more electric than normal for us
Someone knows PEA office in Phuket

Pascale | 20 April 2020 - 15:17:46

@Dicko  You spreading fake news ! There is no such thing like free electric in Malaysia.Only discounts are offered.And those who can afford an aircon at home but can't afford to pay the bill should simply use a "fan".

Dicko | 20 April 2020 - 13:30:14

Electricity should absolutely be free during the lockdown, everyone is being forced to stay inside during the hottest time of the year. If Malaysia can provide free electricity for 6 months then so can Thailand. As for 3% discount... that is a total joke and a complete insult. Clearly the "fortunate officials" are using this crisis to line their pockets as usual 

Kurt | 20 April 2020 - 12:33:55

Use fans in morning, put AC on 28 degrees in afternoon. Don't sleep below a blanket. And if your office is closed and you work at home, the office is saving AC electric. The boss can give you a share of the AC money he saves. Find a 'electric balance' together.

CaptainJack69 | 20 April 2020 - 11:37:26

Are you running your AC all day long? Do you have it set to 17 degrees? Then that explains it then. Look at your bill, it explains your charges. Now check your meter. You are being charged for what you are using. Here on Phuket how can we contact the PEA if we can't go there? Try phoning them? Good luck with that.

 

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