UAE | Society

Sharjah residents complain about high Sewa bills

Sharjah residents complain about substantial rise in monthly utility bills

  • By Jumana Khamis, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 22:00 September 14, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • While Sharjah residents have complained of a hike in utility bills, Sewa says there is no change in its charges and the increase could be due to higher consumption.

Sharjah: Notice a hike in your water and electricity bills this summer? Sharjah residents are complaining about a substantial raise in their monthly bills over the summer months.

In light of the large number of complaints, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa) said that there has been no change in the electricity and water charges over the summer despite residents’ claims that their bills have doubled.

A Sewa spokesperson from the Customer Service Department told Gulf News that a possible reason behind the increase in bills could be due to the increase in water and electricity consumption or as a result of an error in the readings even though the chance of error is very low.

“The hike in consumption is mostly as a result of the month of Ramadan as this situation arises every year during the holy month,” he said.

The increase in water and electricity consumption during summer months when schools are on vacation is also a trend that is witnessed every year, he added.

Sewa also confirmed that regular rates are being applied at 7.5 fils per kWh for electricity and 1.5 fils per gallon of water for Emiratis, , 30 fils per kWh, and 3 fils per gallon of water for expat residents and commercial use.

There is also a special tariff for industrial activity which is 40 fils per kWh for electricity, and 3 fils per gallon of water.

Sewa also clarified that water consumption for expat residents and commercial use is calculated on the basis of a slab system depending on the gallons of water used every month.

For residents, the first 6,000 gallons of water used is charged at 3 fils per gallon whereas the second 6,000 gallons used is charged at 3.5 fils per gallon. Consumption of over 12,000 gallons of water is charged at 4 fils per gallon.

For commercial consumption of water, the first 10,000 gallons is charged at 3 fils per gallon, whereas the second 10,000 gallons is charged at 3.5 fils per gallon. Consumption of over 20,000 gallons of water is charged at 4 fils per gallon.

No increase in consumption

Despite Sewa's assurances that the increase in bills is due to the increase in consumption, Sharjah residents insist that they have not changed their electricity and water consumption levels.

“Our previous bill for the month of July was just over Dh800, however this month the bill was doubled - it was over Dh1,600 and we definitely haven’t used more electricity or water this month,” said Sharjah resident Fatima Suhail.

Fatima added that after approaching Sewa and filing a consumer complaint at the Sewa office in Al Khaleej Mall, she was told that there was no fault in the meter and that the bill was based on her consumption throughout the month.

“Despite soaring temperatures, we use electricity sparingly and ensure that no switch, socket or electrical appliance is left on,” explained Fatima, adding that there have been no additional people living at her home.

Being one of many annoyed residents facing the same issue, Fatima said that all tenants in her building were left stunned after receiving their recent bill. “We had no choice but to pay the entire amount,” she added.

Hoping that the matter is investigated, Sewa has confirmed that they have received many complaints from Sharjah residents. “We have received complaints about this issue. These complaints are currently being considered by the concerned department to take the necessary action,” said the spokesperson at Sewa.

Sewa readings are taken on a monthly basis and the reading date is mentioned on the resident’s bills which are issued at the beginning of every month, he added.

Comments (130)

  1. Added 19:41 September 15, 2013

    The way to solve consumer complaint is to go to nearest SEWA office and get them to make a report of your problem then take report to senior people sitting in Consumer section near TV station r/a. Getting this report not easy you will be made to follow up for at least one week then when you go to consumer section may be they ask for more paper.

    Ali, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 19:33 September 15, 2013

    I live in al qassimiya area sharjah , we are newly wedded and I brought my wife and mother this February , starting it was for 3 months the bill used to come below 250 aed coz my mother was a resident in uae from last 15 years and she knows about the expenses here and she controlled as much as can when my mother left after 3 months and we two stayed in a flat and sewa bill increases 95 % like almost double now I used to get bill 485 aed how is this possible , I request sewa to take care for the expatriates as they hope for some savings when they leave this country not just like to spend in utility bills and any other charges .

    sikander, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 19:31 September 15, 2013

    I too have got the same issue. I sent my family back home for a month and the electricity and water consumption was very less. But the billed amount which I've received is huge.

    Mubarak, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 18:34 September 15, 2013

    I was on vacation from 8th Aug to 04 Sep, but I received the bill with almost same amount as previous month, how is this possible?

    DD, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 18:33 September 15, 2013

    We faced the same problem. Since everybody's facing it im sure there must be something wrong with the meter or something elsewhere. This matter should definitely be introgated as 100's of people cant be lying.

    Mital, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 18:23 September 15, 2013

    For instance if we assume that bills are almost doubled due to increase in consumption. What is justification for the families who were in their home countries during these months? they also got huge bills..... It could be some technical fault in meters...SEWA should investigate and if they find technical fault then excess dues should be refunded in the subsequent bills. i am personally feeling helpless by paying this huge amount.

    Muhammad Saeed, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 18:10 September 15, 2013

    Yes. We have also faced the same issue. We were on vacation in July and we received the bill for almost the same amount as previous months. We also suspect the issue with the SEWA meters.

    Rai, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 18:03 September 15, 2013

    I have the same issue. Last year in the month of August the bill amount was doubled and the same thing happened this year as well.

    Shuaib, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 18:01 September 15, 2013

    My current bill cost was very high this month.SEWA must take action to investigate this issue.

    Sherzod, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 17:50 September 15, 2013

    yes same issue for me also We got the bill arround 1050 AED and usages is same. but dont have any option except to pay it..

    asad, sharjah, Pakistan

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