Abu Dhabi unveils new utility bill
Abu Dhabi, February 8, 2012
Abu Dhabi will unveil a new utility bill for its customers starting from next month that will provide more information, mainly on managing their water and power consumption across the emirate.
All the water and electricity customers will receive separate utility bills showing the government subsidy, said a statement from Abu Dhabi Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB).
In addition residential customers will have two consumption bands indicating an “ideal-average” and above “ideal-average” range of consumption, it stated.
Commenting on the RSB move, director general Nicholas Carter said, 'With an upward trend in population and economic growth the Abu Dhabi government is aware of the pressure this puts on the country’s resources.'
'Steps taken now will help ensure the continuous and secure supply of water and electricity into the future. As the tariff stays the same, the new bill is one way to address consumption and influence long-term behavioural change,' he noted.
To ensure customers are not taken by surprise an information campaign will introduce the new bill before the March ‘go-live’ date which highlights the key changes and addresses concerns and questions that many customers may wish to ask.
Based on an energy consumption theme, the campaign introduces two ‘consumption’ symbols as tools for behaviour change.
The consumption bands give residential customers an average range to benchmark their water and electricity use, essentially a tool to manage consumption, depending on whether they live in an apartment or villa (all other premises).
The green “tick” symbol shows the ideal-average and the red “exclamation” symbol indicates the above ideal-average. Whether they are in the “green” or in the “red”, customers can adjust their electricity and water use to keep within the ideal range for their type of property.
The consumption bands are based on annual averages for each property type and are as follows:
While nationals continue to receive free water for nominal prices, the new bill will be sent to them as an information tool to help build awareness around consumption.
“Peak summer demand drives a core part of the sector’s costs and it is consumer behaviour at this time of year that we need to influence,” said Mohammed Bin Jarsh, deputy managing director of Abu Dhabi Distribution Company.
“Based on current use, we know that most of our customers will be ‘in the red’ for the summer months. By encouraging customers to use efficient appliances and adjust their air conditioning, we can reduce our electricity use significantly,” he added.
Over the past week Abu Dhabi residents have been exposed to the start of an advertising campaign (are you in the green or in the red) that forms part of this information programme, said Bin Jarsh.
Various campaign information themes will be rolled out for the next two months to help customers understand their new bills.
The Government subsidy represents a large part of the actual cost of producing and delivering water and electricity to the customer, for which they do not pay.
“By showing the actual cost of the utility, customers will realise the Government’s contribution to the sector',” said Carter. 'This will increase awareness amongst the consumers in relation to their consumption of water and electricity,' he added.
The new bill will be rolled out in phases during March and April starting with residential and business customers although as bills are mailed throughout a month’s cycle not all customers will see the new bill immediately.-TradeArabia News Service
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