I thought I am the only one facing this issue until I read the news. Although I do aware the power rate has gone up lately, but still seem to be a lot more than I expected.
Originally Posted by www.straitstimes.comhttp://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Sto...6.html?vgnmr=1
High power bills: Record number of cases probed
1,093 complaints looked into; underestimation of April charges is main reason, says S'pore PowerBy Tessa Wong
A RECORD number of complaints about overcharging for electricity were investigated by Singapore Power last month.
SP Services, the power company's customer service arm, said it looked into 1,093 cases where customers had complained that their bills for May were higher than in previous months.
The figure is three times the number of cases investigated in June last year, and refers only to complaints that were looked into - SP Services acknowledges that the total number of queries is higher.
It is likely that the complaints will keep coming. As of the middle of this month, SP Services has investigated 543 cases and is on track to surpassing last month's record.
A Straits Times check of 100 households found many that also said their bills for last month had jumped. About 10 per cent said their charges went up by extraordinary amounts, of between 60 per cent and 113 per cent. But despite the number of complaints, Mr Wong Chit Sieng, managing director of SP Services, maintained that there have been no billing errors and added that such cases happen every year because of several factors.
He said complaints tend to go up in the middle of the year, in tandem with increased electricity consumption. This year's record surge, he said, could be due to several factors. These include a more anxious mood among consumers in the light of recent food and petrol price rises, as well as tariff hikes which took effect in April.
SP Services said the main reason for the higher bills is that charges for April were underestimated.
The company estimates a customer's energy usage based on the last two actual meter readings.
For example, to estimate May's reading, it divides the difference between February and April's readings by the number of days between the two reading dates and then multiplies it by the number of days in May.
Sometimes, because of lower usage in previous months, for example, a customer's bill can be underestimated. If this happens, SP Services will charge more the following month to make up the difference.
Another reason for the higher bills is that consumers are simply using more electricity.
Housewife Ong Siew Khim, 56, saw a 50 per cent rise in her June bill, and acknowledged that it could be because her grandniece, who lives with her, had stayed home more often due to the school holidays.
'She was watching more television, but really, the increase shouldn't be so much because it was just for an extra hour or two a day. We haven't been using more of our other appliances,' said Ms Ong.
Other customers, however, did not accept SP Services' explanation.
Architect Yan Dawei is among them. The 33-year-old said his electricity bill for last month was double that for May, but insisted his family had not changed its usage patterns.
'It seems excessive, and came as a great surprise.
'We were away in Malaysia for a week in June and switched off everything too,' said Mr Yan.
When asked about his case, SP Services said it had underestimated Mr Yan's meter reading in May, and the June bill reflected the adjustment.
But Mr Yan pointed out that his consumption has remained fairly consistent.
Dismissing SP Services' explanation, he insisted: 'It just doesn't make sense.'
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