Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Red zone residents call for assistance with electricity bills

Red zone residents call for assistance with electricity bills

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Residents in Phnom Penh’s designated Red Zones. Heng Chivoan

Red zone residents call for assistance with electricity bills

Some residents in Phnom Penh’s designated Red Zones on May 1 urged state-run Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) to find ways to assist with electricity bills, as restrictions make it difficult to travel to work and earn an income.

The request came after EDC asked residents to find ways to settle their bills.

A red zone resident in Meanchey district, who requested anonymity, told The Post on May 1 that it was easy to pay bills through bank transfers. But the problem is they are not working and do not have any income to settle it.

“We cannot do business and electricity costs increase in the hot season. There seems to be no assistance from the EDC. In the past, I have seen an exemption for electricity [bills] … this time there is no exemption. So, we must pay as usual,” said a man employed by a private company.

With no income and having a lot of other expenses, residents asked EDC to come up with an option for payment.

"When people are not earning money, the state should help. If not an exemption for a few months, there could be a discount or delayed payments," he said.

Another resident in a blockade area in Russey Keo district’s Tuol Sangke commune said he had never paid his electricity bill via electronic transfer. His house is next to EDC, but he cannot go outside to pay the bill.

"I have not received the electricity bill [for April] yet. I do not know how to pay it, and I think it is difficult because we are barred from going outside in a red zone," he said.

In his call for consumers to pay, EDC director-general Keo Rattanak explained that Cambodia also buys electricity from domestic and foreign suppliers, which require timely payment, otherwise supplies will be cut off and fines imposed, causing even more problems.

"The money that we use to build power lines comes from the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, JICA, France, Germany, and Korea – those repayments can’t be delayed.

“People everywhere, not only in lockdown areas, complain that they cannot work because of Covid-19. I understand the problem, but the government has a separate mechanism under the leadership of chairman of the lockdown committee, [Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth. The committee works with authorities to determine who needs assistance,” he said.

According to Ratanak, during a meeting with the lockdown committee, EDC officials were told to ensure a sustainable supply of electricity. Therefore, people need to pay for electricity.

"We have not cut off electricity to poor people yet. We are always patient to give you a chance. At the same time, the general public … should pay because we need to generate incomes to pay suppliers, for electrical equipment as well as interest payments,” he said.

Rattanak said EDC was still operating normally during the government's lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takhmao town in Kandal province.

“In order to maintain stable supply and to enable EDC to pay suppliers, EDC asks all customers to try to pay for electricity through bank payment systems and other microfinance institutions,” he said.

The notice also states that for large-scale users which need to pay by bank check, EDC has set up a working group to facilitate payments for customers in the lockdown areas by simply contacting them during working hours using the phone number on the bill.

In addition, all residents can transfer to the EDC bank account and copy confirmation of payment documents to 012 685 789 via social network WhatsApp or Telegram.

MOST VIEWED

  • Restrictions re-imposed in capital as Covid cases surge

    Amid the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has shown no sign of subsiding with 750 infections and 10 deaths reported on June 2 alone, the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has decided to re-impose the suspension of all occupations and business activities deemed as posing high risk of

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway 51% complete

    The construction of the nearly $2 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway is 51.35 per cent complete and is expected to be finished in 2023, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of state Vasim Sorya. Invested in by Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd, the first expressway in

  • First 7-Eleven store to open mid-June, ambassador says

    Thai retail conglomerate CP All Pcl will open Cambodia’s first 7-Eleven convenience store in mid-June, Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn told The Post on June 1. The Bangkok-listed 7-Eleven franchise operator, the retail arm of Charoen Pokphand Group Co Ltd, granted CP All (Cambodia)

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy