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UAE: Grace period to pay electricity bills extended

Afkar Abdullah/Sharjah
Filed on April 14, 2021
Photo courtesy: Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority

Residents say decision comes as a 'big relief' as they have more time to pay dues without incurring penalties.


The Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority (Sewga) has extended the payment periods for utility bills, it was announced on Wednesday.

Sharjah residents whose Sewga bills are Dh1,000 or less can now pay within a month from the date of billing, without penalties. Those whose bills exceed Dh1,000 will have a 15-day grace period. Previously, the payment period was only seven days long.

The decision comes in response to residents’ requests for extensions so they can avoid fines, said Hamed Taher Al Haj, director of the Customer Service Department.

He explained that bills are issued through four reading cycles, and each cycle covers a group of the areas in Sharjah. The new bill payment system includes the following cycles:

>> Bills of the first cycle are issued on the 7th of each month and payment can be made without a penalty until the 21st of the same month

>> Bills of the second cycle are issued on the 14th of each month and the payment can be made up to the 1st of the following month

>> Bills of the third cycle are issued on the 21st of each month and payment can be made up to the 7th of the following month

>> Bills of the fourth cycle are issued on the 28th of each month, payment can be made without penalty until the 14th of the following month

Hussein Al Askar, deputy director of the Customer Service Department, explained that a bill of Dh1,000 or less can be paid without a penalty within a month from the date of billing. Failure to do so will result in a Dh25 fine. In case the remaining amount does not exceed Dh300, no fines will be imposed.

He explained that subscribers can check the full details and history of the date of the cycle they belong to through the authority’s website or the smart application and its service offices. They may also dial 991 to reach the call centre.

Decision comes as a big relief, say residents

The new rule comes as a big relief, especially for residents who often forget their due dates because of busy work schedules or any other reason.

Mahalakshmi, a Sharjah resident, said: “Almost every two months, I used to pay Dh100 to reconnect the service because I always forget to pay the bill on time.”

Power connections used to be cut off right after the seven-day grace period. Customers would then have to apply for reconnection and pay fines and fees, residents said.

Mohamed Al Mahy, who lives in Muwailih, just had his electricity disconnected. “Now, I’m on my way to pay my bill with a big smile on my face because Dh100 is too much for me. Since the paperless bill system started, I always had to pay late fees because I forget to check my bill online.”

Al Mahy suggested that it would also help if customers can get an SMS reminder a day before disconnection of services.

Sewga has always been concerned about its customers’ needs. Earlier, it had launched eight social service initiatives, including waiving the bills of those going through financial difficulties, a Sewga official said.

afkarali@khaleejtimes.com





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