Dubai: With more UAE residents spending time indoors and the summer heat leading to a heavy use of air-conditioners, you may have noticed a rise in your electricity and water bill in the past few months. But how do you know if the rise in your monthly expense is reasonable or not?
The electricity and water supply in the UAE is managed by four main authorities – Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) for the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) for Dubai residents, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) for the emirate of Sharjah and Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) for other Northern Emirates. If you think your bill is higher than you expected, you can file a complaint with your local electricity and water board, as each authority has clear channels through which complaints can be raised.
According to the information shared by ADDC on its website, there are a number of reasons why your bill may be higher or lower than you expected, such as:
• A change to your tariff (Different tariff rates are levied for water and electricity, depending on the type of your property and your ADDC profile)
• estimated bills (or previous estimates) that are different to your actual consumption
• the time of year (for example, the impact on your electricity bill of air conditioning in summer)
• a change to your usage (if visitors are staying or you have new appliances)
• water leaks.
If you think your bill is higher than you expected, you can request ADDC to check your meter as well. Responding to a frequently asked question on their websites, ADDC clarified how meter readings are the basis on which bills are generated. “We consider a reading taken by the meter reader to be accurate. If customers find the readings inaccurate based on their consumption habits, they should request to get their meter checked by our technical team by calling our customer service center,” the website clarified.
Other reasons why your bill may be higher than you anticipate is if you are being charged a higher tariff rate than you should be. A tariff rate is the per unit rate that you are charged, which can vary based on the type of your property. If you think you are on the wrong tariff, you can raise your complaint with ADDC through email on email@example.com. You can also call ADDC on their toll free number 800 2332.
Dubai residents can monitor their consumption and work towards reducing their electricity and water usage through a ‘Smart Living Initiative’ by DEWA - https://www.dewa.gov.ae/en/consumer/consumption-management/smart-living, which helps a user understand their bill and the various charges which have been implemented, sends high water consumption alerts and a comparative analysis based on consumption patterns by similar homes to yours.
“With the High Water Usage Alert, customers who have water smart meters will be notified of any high water usage that could indicate possible internal water leakage, in order for the customer to carry out his preventive maintenance,” DEWA said in a statement to Gulf News.
You can also analyse your bills from previous months to better understand your consumption pattern, through the DEWA app or website – dewa.gov.ae
If you still believe your bill is unreasonably high, you can file a complaint through the DEWA Website, smart app (available for Android and iPhone devices), emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 04 6019999.
It takes three working days to receive a response or resolution from DEWA.
SEWA has a dedicated portal on its website for complaints and feedback and if you believe you were charged a higher amount on the month’s bill, you can file a complaint by logging on to - https://www.sewa.gov.ae/en/Complaints.aspx
You can also call 06 5288888 to raise your complaints.
Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah
FEWA has provided online options to customers to raise their complaints, through the website - https://www.fewa.gov.ae/en/Services/eServices/Pages/Suggestion-and-Complaint.aspx, or via email at email@example.com. You can also call FEWA on their hotline 800 3392.