Electricity bills double for Hanoians on meter reading date change

By Phuong Dung   March 6, 2024 | 05:00 pm PT
Electricity bills double for Hanoians on meter reading date change
EVN staff recording meter readings in August, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Minh
Households in Hanoi have received electricity bills two or three times higher than usual this month after national utility Electricity Vietnam (EVN) postponed its meter reading date.

Minh of Ha Dong District said the power consumed and bill for January are both more than double the usual at 2,127 kWh and VND6.7 million (US$271.4) though consumption has been completely normal and he bought no new electrical devices.

Huong of Dong Da District said her bill had jumped from the usual 350 kWh to 750 kWh.

The same thing has happened to Hanoi’s nearly 2.8 million electricity users, and EVN’s change in meter reading date seems to be the reason.

The reading date has been moved to the end of each month from the beginning.

Thus the January bill is for until Feb. 29 and not metered until Feb. 7 as used to be the case, meaning the bills are for two months.

It is a one-time occurrence, EVN noted.

However, many consumers have correctly pointed out that combining two months’ bills would place their electricity usage in a higher tier. The pricing system is in slabs with higher per unit cost with increasing consumption.

In Huong’s case, the first 350 kWh would be charged at multiple rates from tier 1 to 5 (VND1,806-3,050 per kWh).

But if the extra 400 kWh is added, it would be charged entirely at tier 5 and 6 (VND3,050-3,151 per kWh) rates.

EVN Hanoi has however reassured consumers it has made allowance for this, and the bills would be normal.

For example, the tier 1 rate would be applied for the first 85 kWh instead of the usual 50, it said. Last year the reading date was changed in several provinces and cities. EVN had planned to effect the change in Hanoi last November but postponed it.

EVN plans to apply the new date across the country by 2025, when electronic meters are installed in every household.

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