Council alert on Electricity Bills on Minimum Charges

15/09/2011 14:22

The Consumer Council of Fiji would like to advice all consumers to be extra cautious on how much they are charged for their monthly electricity bills. It has been brought to the Council’s attention that consumers are forced to pay Domestic Minimum Charges even if they do not consume any electricity for the month. This means the consumer ends up paying a minimum charge equal to 20 units every month even if the property is vacant or the owner is not in the country for instance.

The Council believes this is an unfair practice and adds financial burden on the consumer with cost of living sky rocketing. The question raised was why consumers should pay for the monthly domestic minimum charges if they are not using any electricity for that particular month. A number of complaints were lodged with the council on this regard.

Upon enquiry with the Fiji Electricity Authority, the Council was informed that domestic minimum charge if $6.96 is applied to consumers who have not used any electricity to recover the cost of meter reading and for the processing and posting of electricity bill.

The Council believes that consumers should not be paying for the domestic minimum charge if they are not using any electricity, hence there is no need for meter reading and posting of the bill for the respective month or months.

It would be appropriate for FEA to only charge for what is consumed.  However, it becomes consumer responsibility to notify the Authority in writing if the house or flat is vacant so time, energy and resource is not wasted by FEA. The Council urges the consumers to be very vigilant in this area.

We urge FEA to work in the best interest of consumers by educating consumers on such matters.

The Council is however pleased to note that final meter reading and disconnection comes without a cost if the Consumer no longer need FEA services.