STELCO denies bill hike without taking meter readings

State Electric Company (STELCO)’s Managing Director Ahmed Shareef speaks to press on May 24, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

State Electric Company Limited (STELCO) has denied rumors circulating alleging the company had hiked electricity bills for the month of April without taking meter readings from households.

The utility company has been the target of public criticism over the high electricity bills for the month of April; much higher than what was widely expected. The increased consumption of electricity in April has hiked the bill for the month.

Many, on social media, however, described the increase in electricity by twice or thrice despite the lack of time spent at their homes as unbelievable.

STELCO’s Managing Director Ahmed Shareef denied the rumors via a tweet on Monday.

He stressed that the rumors held no basis while STELCO has never disclosed false details regarding electricity bills at any time.

Shareef, underscoring tariff rates were not decided by STELCO, said the consumption of electricity was also not a factor under the company’s control.

STELCO’s Spokesperson told Sun that the utility company never formulates the bill without taking the meter reading. On this note, the Spokesperson emphasized the bill states the date the meter reading was taken.

The Spokesperson also detailed that STELCO, as per normal policies, will recheck the bills of households that are observed to be higher than usual.

“The bill, under any circumstances, will not be formulated without taking the reading. If there are such households, please check with us. We will recheck an MVR 2,000 bill charged to a household where the bill averages at MVR 1,000. Each bill will indicate the last date reading was taken. All this information is included in the bill. There is no way of formulating the bill without taking the reading. (I) assure that,” the Spokesperson said.

The Spokesperson, underscoring the bill could have hiked over a malfunction of the meter, urged customers to check the meter for such an issue.

Electricity consumption has been relatively high in the Male’ area due to the humid weather. In this regard, Male’ area recorded the second highest electricity consumption on a single day on April 11th – consuming over 92.5 megawatts of electricity that day.

On April 24th, Male’ are recorded the highest electricity consumption on a single day; consuming over 102 megawatts of electricity on that day.

STELCO has a capacity to produce 120 megawatts of electricity daily.