Power bills continue to shock subscribers

Muscat: High electricity bills continued to shock many subscribers for the third consecutive month. Their grievances remain unresolved despite repeated complaints.

From an average of RO 20 to 30 to hundreds of riyals, the subscribers questioned the accuracy of meter reading and demanded a more detailed clarification from the electricity companies.

Ahmed al Kahtri, a social activist, said, ” A noticeable rise with everyone almost. Please find a solution.”

Mohammed al Hashli, a subscriber, added, “We completed a month since we filed a complaint. Still, there is no response.”

Yet another subscriber, Bu Shalan, claimed to have visited the branch. “They said the reading is correct. How come this happens only for those three months?” he asked.

Last August, the Social Committee of the Shura Council discussed the issue of high electricity bills in several willayats.

To resolve the problem, the members suggested possible alternatives including monthly reading, cancelling the billing system currently in force, and obliging companies to record the reading on time or activating the self-reading mechanism.

The meeting also touched upon tariff governance frameworks imposed on subscribers, requirements for supply licences, mechanisms of the Authority for Public Services Regulation (AER) in activating oversight over the application of those requirements, protecting the interests of subscribers, reports of following up on subscribers’ complaints in terms of volume, quality, and means of treatment.

The Authority, weeks back, issued a statement urging power firms to address consumer complaints immediately.

It said that every subscriber has the right to communicate with the service provider, and the company must respond to subscribers’ complaints and clarify the bill details and the method of calculating the bill amount in a manner to avoid grievances.

However, this didn’t appear to be the right solution as many subscribers notified that the statement wasn’t convincing enough and many of them were told after filing the complaint that the readings were correct.

The Authority also asked companies to review all the bills in dispute to ensure that the subscribers are not overcharged.