Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - EDC slows roll on discount

EDC slows roll on discount

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A garment worker sits next to power meters at her rented residence on the outskirts of Phnom Penh last year. Electricite du Cambodge is temporarily halting its energy discount initiative to gauge the success of the program so far. Hong Menea

EDC slows roll on discount

State energy provider Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) has announced plans to temporarily halt the installation of new connections under its energy discount initiative for garment workers and low-income students in Phnom Penh, a program union leaders have largely praised as effective.

In late January, amid mounting complaints from garment workers who said landlords were taking advantage of a recent minimum wage increase by unilaterally hiking their electricity bills, EDC launched a $2 million project that set a fixed price of 610 riel ($0.15) per kilowatt for qualified residents who consumed less than 50 kilowatts a month.

Since then, EdC has installed connections to 116,914 rental rooms in districts including Russey Keo, Meanchey and Dangkor, which they said allowed them to charge tenants directly and avoid price manipulation by homeowners, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

“So far, the workers living in rentals with the new connections have been quite satisfied with the price, but there are still some places in Phnom Penh where this has yet to be implemented,” Kong Athit, vice president of labour union C.CAWDU, said yesterday.

In a second statement released on Wednesday, EdC announced that new connections won’t be installed from July 11 to 20 as the company analyses the program’s effectiveness for its mid-year report.

Installation will resume on July 21.

Community Legal Education Centre labour program head Moeun Tola, however, said that the discounts have yet to take effect for some workers.

“There are some workers who are still complaining that the prices are still similar . . . and that they have no connections yet,” Tola said.

Both labour leaders urged the company to hasten the installation process, with Athit adding that EdC “should expand the program outside Phnom Penh, like in Kandal province”.

Beginning in March 2016, EdC plans to further cut prices in Phnom Penh and in rural areas from the standard 800 riel per kilowatt, saying it will use potential profits to cushion the upcoming discounts.

“To aid the poor who consume less than 10 kilowatts per month, we will charge 480 riels per kilowatt, and the same will apply to farmers,” one of Wednesday’s statements reads.

EdC director-general Keo Rattanak could not be reached for comment yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • EU parliament’s 13-point vote to decide on possible sanctions

    The European Parliament is due to vote on Thursday on a 13-point resolution on Cambodia – which includes a call for the treason charges against bailed opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped – a threat that could see the EU enforce a range of sanctions against

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • PM vows to ‘protect’ Chinese interests

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday told Chinese companies investing in Cambodia not to worry about contract cancellation in the Kingdom. Speaking at a roundtable meeting with business executives in China as co-chair of the China-Asean Expo, the prime minister told six Chinese conglomerates with