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Electricity Charges Subsidy Scheme for Non-residential Customers

Policy Responsibilities  

Electricity Charges Subsidy Scheme for Non-residential Customers

Faced with an extremely challenging economic environment, the Government announced on 4 December 2019 the provision of electricity charges subsidy (“the subsidy”) to each eligible non-residential electricity accounts for 4 months, so as to ease the operating pressure and financial burden of small and medium enterprises. Recognising that the coronavirus epidemic has a severe impact on the economy, the Government has decided to extend the subsidy period to 8 months.

Starting from March 2020, the Government provides the subsidy to all non-residential electricity accounts registered with the power companies as of 4 December 2019, to cover 75% of their billed electricity charges based on their electricity consumption, subject to a cap of $5,000 per month.

 

Example:

If no government subsidy is provided, Company A will be billed $6,000 and $6,500 in March and April 2020 respectively. The consumption periods for its bills in March and April 2020 are 20 February 2020 – 20 March 2020 (30 days) and 21 March 2020 – 20 April 2020 (31 days) respectively. Taking into account the subsidy, the following information will be shown on Company A’s electricity bills:

Bill for March $
Billed electricity charge based on electricity consumption# 6,000
Government SubsidyNote (3,000)
Amount due 3000
Note The 75% subsidy will be provided from the effective date of the Scheme (i.e. starting from 1 March).

Bill for April $
Billed electricity charge based on electricity consumption# 6,500
Government Subsidy (4,875)
Amount due 1,625
# Grace period for the tariff increase offered by CLP and HKE for their relevant non-residential customers, as well as the two power companies’ special rebates, have been taken into account. Feed-in Tariff and receivable from sales of Renewable Energy Certificates are not taken into account.


Reference Questions and Answers:

Q Which electricity accounts are eligible for the subsidy?
A Non-residential electricity accounts registered with the power companies and account effective as of 4 December 2019 (i.e. the day the Financial Secretary announced the measure) are eligible for the subsidy, so long as the registration remains effective during the subsidy period. There is no need to apply for the subsidy.

One point to note: “Non-residential electricity account” refers to the power companies’ tariff classification, i.e. accounts to which “non-residential tariff” applies. Non-residential accounts with high energy consumption which pay “maximum demand tariff”, “bulk tariff” or “large power tariff” do not belong to this tariff charging category and hence will not benefit from the scheme.
Q How will the subsidy be granted? Can it be paid in cash?
A The subsidy will directly offset the electricity charges payable on the customer’s bill, and cannot be paid in cash.
Q If the electricity account is for a leased unit, who (the tenant or the landlord) will receive the subsidy?
A The subsidy will directly offset the electricity charges payable on the customer’s bill. As to how tenants who do not have their own electricity account can benefit, it depends on the agreement between them and the landlord.
Q If an eligible account is terminated during the month, will the subsidy for that month be provided on a pro-rata basis?
A If, for reasons such as relocation, closure of business or change of account ownership, an eligible account is terminated during the scheme period, even if the last bill covers less than a full month, the account can still get the subsidy in proportion to the number of eligible days.
Q Can the subsidy be used for paying deposits or other charges?
A The subsidy can only be used for paying electricity charges. It cannot be used for paying deposits or other charges.
Q If the subsidy for the current month does not reach the cap, can the balance be carried forward to the next bill?
A The subsidy is not a fixed amount. It is a subsidy to cover 75% of customers’ billed electricity charges (Cap amount will be calculated according to number of days involved), hence there is no “balance” to be carried forward.
Q If the electricity bill only needs to pay the minimum charge, will it get the subsidy?
A Yes. Those bills with minimum charge payable are also eligible for the subsidy.


CLP's Customer Service Hotline: 2678 2678

HK Electric's Customer Service Hotline: 2887 3411

 

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01-03-2020
17-06-2020