Dubai man who racked up Dh20,179 utility bill was alerted twice, says Dewa

The bill showed he consumed 319,200 gallons of water, equivalent to nearly half the size of an Olympic swimming pool


Mazhar Farooqui

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Published: Fri 1 Sep 2023, 8:40 AM

Last updated: Mon 4 Sep 2023, 9:17 PM

Dubai resident David Richard Spours, who racked up a Dh20,179 utility bill, was alerted twice by the Dubai Electricity Water Authority (Dewa) about his unusually high consumption.

Dewa attributed the exorbitant bill to an internal leak in Spours' Damac Hills 2 townhouse.

On Wednesday, Khaleej Times reported how British expat David Spours was shocked to receive a Dh20,179 bill from Dewa upon returning from vacation. The bill detailed charges of Dh1,383.17 for electricity, Dh1,804.42 for Dubai Municipality fees, and a staggering Dh16,992.38 for water usage in August.

Spours discovered the water leak on August 11, upon his return from the UK. He explained, "It was caused by a faulty float valve in the tank, leading to the water tank overflowing and leaking continuously for 30 days.”

The bill showed he consumed 319,200 gallons of water — equivalent to nearly half the size of an Olympic swimming pool.

Spours had initially claimed not to have received any alerts regarding the unusual consumption. However, Dewa clarified that the customer had activated Dewa's 'Away Mode' feature, which resulted in two alerts being sent to his email on July 28, 2023, and August 4, 2023.

Dewa also provided screenshots of the notifications sent to Spours.

Thanking Khaleej Times for its “efforts to spread awareness about the importance of using energy and water efficiently” Dewa said, “We take this opportunity to urge customers to utilise Dewa's smart services, including the 'Away Mode' under the Smart Living initiative. This feature allows residents to monitor electricity and water use remotely, receiving consumption updates via email daily or weekly."

"Customers can activate this via Dewa's website or app. We would like to emphasise that Dewa is responsible for the integrity of the water supply networks up to the water meter. However, it’s the customers’ responsibility to regularly inspect their water connections, with the help of a specialised technician, to avoid any leaks. This not only protects property but conserves water and avoids high bills,” added the authority.


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