ABOUT 300 villagers gathered in front of the Anlong Veng district office in Oddar Meanchey province yesterday to complain about a jump in the price of electricity supplied by a private company.
“The company increased the price of electricity from 1,800 riels (US$0.43) to 2,400 riels ($0.57) per kilowatt-hour,” said Sun Ny, a community representative who took part in the protest.
The local electricity company forced the villagers to install new meters that use a SIM card system, he said, and the number of kilowatt-hours recorded for each home had “almost doubled” since.
“We have asked the owner of the local electricity company to reduce the price of electricity to 2,000 riels ($0.48) per kilowatt-hour and demanded that they reinstall our old electricity meters,” said Tong Chhin, another resident.
Nhib Sok Eang, the owner of the electricity company, said that she increased the price of power because of the high global oil prices, and that her company’s rates were in line with those set by the Electricity Authority of Cambodia.
“They have protested against my company, asking me to cancel their debt, but we will cut off their electricity if they don’t pay soon,” she said.
District governor Yim Phanna said villagers had temporarily agreed to a reduced rate of 2,300 riels ($0.55) per kilowatt-hour, pending an investigation into the new meters.