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Electricity Charges Relief Scheme

Policy Responsibilities  

Electricity Charges Relief Scheme

Under the approved 2018-23 Development Plans, the power companies will significantly increase the use of natural gas for power generation to help achieve the carbon intensity reduction target for 2030 to combat climate change and improve the local air quality. The use of more expensive natural gas together with the necessary capital investment will lead to considerable pressure to raise electricity tariff during the coming five years.

To alleviate the impact of tariff increase on residential households during this transitional period in moving to a low carbon future, the Government will grant each eligible residential electricity account a maximum electricity charges relief of $3,000 over 60 months (i.e. $50 per month), commencing from January 2019. The relief can only be used for offsetting electricity charges. Any unused relief can be carried forward to offset electricity charges under the same account until 31 December 2023 or the close of the account (whichever is earlier).

 

Example:
1. HK Electric customers (Monthly billing)

If there is no government relief provided, Mr A will be billed $40 and $70 in January and February 2019 respectively. After the credit, the following information will be shown on his electricity bills:

Bill for January $
Charge for electricity consumed 40
Government relief used 40
Amount due 0
Government relief carried forward 10

Bill for February $
Charge for electricity consumed 70
Government relief used 60
Amount due 10
Government relief carried forward 0

2. CLP customers (Bimonthly billing)

If there is no government relief provided, Mr B will be billed $80 and $140 in February and April 2019 respectively. After the credit, the following information will be shown on his electricity bills:

Bill for February $
Charge for electricity consumed 80
Government relief used 80
Amount due 0
Government relief carried forward 20

Bill for April $
Charge for electricity consumed 140
Government relief used 120
Amount due 20
Government relief carried forward 0

 

Reference Questions and Answers:

Q Who will be eligible for the electricity charges relief?
A In general, registered residential electricity accounts are eligible for the relief.
Q How will the electricity charges relief be granted?
A The Government will credit $50 to each eligible residential account with the power companies in existence on the first day of each month for 60 consecutive months, commencing from 1 January 2019. For each calendar month, only one residential account holder can get the relief in respect of a residential address.
Q Will accounts with unused subsidy previously provided by the Government be granted the electricity charges relief starting from January 2019?
A All residential electricity accounts, including accounts with unused subsidy, can benefit from the electricity charges relief scheme.  Unused subsidy that has been credited to the electricity account will be utilised first in offsetting bill payment.  Relief amount credited to the account will be utilised after the unused subsidy is exhausted or expired.
Q Will tenants of service apartments be eligible for the electricity charges relief?
A The mode of collecting electricity charges varies in different service apartments. While electricity charges are covered by the rental for some service apartments, some tenants are required to pay the charges to the landlords (instead of the electricity companies). As to whether the tenant of a service apartment is eligible for the relief, it will be subject to factors such as having a "separate electricity meter of an electricity company" installed in that apartment, holding a residential electricity account for the power supply, as well as the agreement between the tenant and the landlord.
Q If the electricity account relates to a leased unit, who (the tenant or the landlord) will receive the electricity charges relief?
A Electricity charges relief will reduce the amount of electricity charges demanded in the electricity bills. As to who will be enjoying the relief, this depends on the agreement between the tenant and the landlord. Generally speaking, if the tenant of the leased unit is the holder of such an electricity account, he/she only needs to pay the adjusted amount shown on the bill. If the account is registered in the name of the landlord but the tenant is required to pay the amounts as shown on the electricity company’s bills under the agreement, he/she can enjoy the relief in the same way.
Q Will tenants living in bedspace apartments and cubicles (subdivided units) be eligible for the relief?
A Electricity charges relief will reduce the amount of electricity charges demanded in the electricity bills. As to who will be enjoying the relief, this depends on the agreement between the tenant and the landlord.
Q Will the electricity charges relief cover vacant flats with registered meters?
A In general, properties identified as new residential flats still owned by property developers will not be granted the electricity charges relief.  The relief will cover other vacant flats.
Q If a customer closes his account before 31 December 2023 due to removal or other reasons, can the unused portion of the credited relief under the account be transferred to another account or converted to cash?
A On account close, the unused portion of the credited relief cannot be used further nor converted to cash.
Q If there is a change in the registered account holder in the middle of the month during the period of crediting the electricity charges relief, will the relief be credited to the new and old accounts on a pro-rata basis?
A No, the registered account holder as at the first day of the month will be entitled to the full $50 credit.
Q If a customer closes an account on the first day of a month and another opens a new one on the same day for the same meter, which account will be given the electricity charges relief?
A The new account will be given the relief.
Q During the credit period of electricity charges relief, will new registered accounts be entitled to the credit for the month immediately?
A If the new account exists on the first day of the month, it will be credited the relief amount for the same month. If the account comes into existence on the second day or following days of the month, the account will be credited the relief from the next month. Accounts opened after the last credit day (i.e. after 1 December 2023) will not be entitled to any credit of relief.
Q Will the electricity charges relief be granted in the form of cash?
A No.
Q Can the electricity charges relief be used for paying deposits?
A The electricity charges relief can only be used for paying electricity charges. It cannot be used for paying deposits.
Q What is the validity period of the unused electricity charges relief?
A Unused relief can be carried forward to offset electricity bill for the same electricity account until 31 December 2023.


CLP's Customer Service Hotline: 2678 2678

HK Electric's Customer Service Hotline: 2887 3411

 

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31-12-2018
31-12-2018