Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Electric bill hike gets thumbs down

Electric bill hike gets thumbs down

Electric bill hike gets thumbs down

More than 200 villagers in Preah Vihear town thumb-printed a joint complaint to rights group Adhoc over the weekend asking them to appeal to provincial authorities to intervene after their private electricity company raised its prices by more than 1,000 riel per kilowatt hour, NGO officials said yesterday.

According to Lor Chan, a Preah Vihear provincial co-ordinator for Adhoc, villagers protested the price hike at the province’s Department of Industry, Mines and Energy last Friday, then filed the joint complaint asking Preah Vihear Electricity to stick to the terms of a 2003 contract with provincial authorities that fixed the price of electricity at 1,500 riel per kWh for 30 years, and to replace their electricity metres, which they say are faulty.

“They noticed that the metres they are using are faster than normal, but the company does not want to change metres,” Chan said. “If anyone wants to change, they charge too much, about 300,000 riel, when a regular metre costs about 40,000 riel.”

According to protester Sao Vanthy, 41, the price started gradually climbing from 1,500 riel per kWh sometime last year, finally hitting 2,600 riel per kWh.

“We villagers waited to see when the price would go down because oil prices have decreased,” but prices didn’t fall, he said.

Sam Neang Ny, former director of the province’s Department of Industry, Mines and Energy, now an adviser to the department, said that the company took off 100 riel per kWh, and that the price was fair, since the cost of diesel has risen.

However, he added, after some informal tests, he agreed that the metres were faulty, and informed Preah Vihear Electricity, which agreed to refund the difference to affected customers.

Preah Vihear Electricity officials could not be reached for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget