STELCO opens up complaint submissions due to escalating electricity bills

Although there was some relief from the increased bills during the month of Ramadan, the bills appear to have increased yet again. 

Maldives Independent

Maldives Independent

The escalating cost of electricity in the Maldives has become a pressing concern for residents. According to the State Electric Company (STELCO), several factors contribute to this surge, including increased fuel prices, higher consumption, and rising temperatures which drive up energy demands for cooling. These elements collectively strain household budgets, leaving many Maldivian families struggling to manage their electricity bills. The burden has become so severe that some households are finding it difficult to keep up with payments, underscoring the urgent need for solutions to mitigate this growing financial pressure.

One of the first steps that was taken by the Maldives Government in 2023 was the step to increase the budget for fuel in the Maldives in addition to electricity subsidies. Originally set at MVR 594 million for the 2023 fiscal year, the subsidies were projected to reach MVR 1.5 billion by year's end. This surge follows a similar trend from the previous fiscal year in 2022, where spending on oil and power subsidies ballooned to MVR 3 billion from an initial allocation of MVR 530 million.

Even with this, it appears that the electricity bill has been increasing as the years pass. In 2024, as the complaints regarding utility bills continued, the Government took a multifaceted approach to bringing a solution to the struggling households. Targeted towards Ramadan, the month during which households use the most electricity resulting in increased bills, the Government of the Maldives took a direct step to reduce the electricity bills by capping the utility bills for households. With this, citizens not only got a Ramadan discount but the Government also ensured that the utility bills did not increase over the usual limit for households. 

Additionally,  the Government also worked with STELCO to introduce instalment plans to help residents manage their electricity bills. This scheme allows customers to pay off bills from the first four months of 2024 in instalments, offering relief to those struggling financially. 

However, even with these measures being taken it appears that the electricity bills continue to increase, resulting in more complaints from citizens. Although there was some relief from the increased bills during the month of Ramadan, the bills appear to have increased yet again. Although STELCO continues to imply that the increased bills are due to the worsening weather conditions, citizens who are faced with paying double the utility bill amounts in the past month alone are raising their concerns. With this, STELCO has opened up for complaint submission regarding high electricity bills via 7788438 through WhatsApp or Telegram. Customers can also now mail their complaints to [email protected].

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