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Air conditioning behind jump in electricity bills, says EVN

Update: July, 01/2014 - 08:44
A worker repairs the electricity system in Yen Vien Commune, Ha Noi's Gia Lam District. Hot weather hitting the northern provinces between May and June led to the higher power consumption. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

HA NOI (VNS) — Ha Noi Electricity Corporation (EVN Ha Noi) yesterday responded to complaints by consumers, who claimed they had paid two or three times more for electricity last month despite normal consumption.

Vice Chief Secretary of EVN Ha Noi, Nguyen Hoang Anh, said that there were no errors detected during the recording and calculation of power usage by consumers.

She said the hot weather, that included three heat waves hitting the northern provinces between May and June, led to the increased use of electrical cooling equipment, resulting in higher power consumption.

The gap in temperatures between indoor and outdoor ranged from 10 and 15 degrees Celsius, forcing many families to turn on air conditioners continuously, up to 10 hours a day instead of a few hours previously.

She said that in some districts like Hoang Mai and Dong Da, power consumption in June was 40-60 per cent higher than that of May.

Vu Thi Nga, 29, a resident of Hoang Mai District said she was astonished on seeing the latest power bill of VND1.2 million (US$57) because they used power without any extra electrical equipment.

"Leave alone that, we were not at home for a week," she said.

Nga was concerned because her family of three usually paid about VND700,000 for electricity each month with normal electrical appliances including a TV, a fridge and air conditioners.

She asked if the new power retail price framework issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade had already been implemented and whether that was the reason for the inflated bills in June.

However, according to the ministry, the average retail power price remained at VND1,508.85 ($71) for each kW per hour.

Since June 1st, the price for the first 50kWh was VND1,388 each instead of the previous rate of VND993. The next 50kWh was priced at VND1,433 each instead of VND1,418.

Bui Thanh Huyen, a hotel owner, said that she usually paid VND13 million for electricity every month, but last month the bill increased sharply to VND21 million.

"It's out of my budget," she said.

Duong The Vinh, 30, of Tay Ho District, said that now his three-year-old daughter could not sleep without having the air conditioner turned on. "We have to accept increased power payments, and think of ways to use energy efficiently to ensure our children sleep comfortably," he said.

Hoang Anh from EVN Ha Noi, suggested that people should stagger the use of electrical appliances during rush hours, from 9.30 am to 11.30 am and 5 pm to 8 pm.

People should buy products that were labelled "energy efficient" by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and install them sparingly. They should make use of natural sunlight instead.

Power consumption increased three per cent for every single degree Celsius which was set for air conditioners, Anh said, recommending that the ideal temperature for the air conditioners should be over 25 degree Celsius.

People can visit to know more about power prices or and login to the account. With user name and passwords are consumer codes posted on the latest power bill to check their power consumption. — VNS

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