Sharjah sees 70% jump in electricity use amid Covid-19
Disconnection orders were also put on hold even for those who failed to pay their bills.
Sharjah had recorded a 70 per cent increase in electricity and water consumption during the months when residents stayed indoors to stymie the spread of Covid-19, the authorities' latest statistics have revealed.
This huge jump, however, was not directly seen in households' power bills because a 10 per cent discount was given to all for three months, based on a directive issued in March. Disconnection orders were also put on hold even for those who failed to pay their bills.
Dr Rashid Al Leem, chairman of the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa), said this discount had cost the authority Dh310 million.
Al Leem was speaking during a meeting between Sewa officials and media representatives, which was organised by the Sharjah Press Club of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau on Tuesday.
He emphasised that even during the unprecedented stay-home protocols, Sewa employees continued to work round the clock to ensure customers are provided with all key services.
Amid the pandemic, all places dedicated for quarantine or health isolation were exempted from billing, Al Leem added, pointing to a directive issued by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
At least 20 hotels, commercial establishments and three health camps were given exemption, he added.
Helping the community
Sewa has also launched a slew of initiatives as part of the emirate's efforts to help the community deal with the economic impact of Covid, he added. It is also working towards enhancing its services through its upcoming mega projects.
"The authority has been delivering water, electricity and gas services to various new areas like Al Tilal, Airport Free Zone, Muwailah and Hamriyah Free Zone within three working days of request. It has succeeded in simplifying procedures," he added.
Al Leem urged citizens and residents to offer their suggestions to further improve Sewa's services.
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