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STELCO feels the heat as anger mounts over bills

State Electric Company blames the hot weather for the hike



Maldivian Democratic Party lawmakers have met with senior officials from the State Electric Company amid growing public discontent over soaring electricity bills.

The hour-long meeting took place at the parliamentary building and was attended by former president and current House Speaker Mohamed Nasheed. 

Neither side has yet made a public statement about the nature of the discussions.

Soaring electricity bills come on the back of price cuts announced by President Solih that came into effect on March 1. In a ceremony held at the President’s Office to mark the first 100 days of government, Solih stated that electricity rates had been lowered to eliminate inequalities between Malé and the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, STELCO managing director Hassan Mughnee blamed the hot weather for the hike in bills.

“We are not [tampering] with the bills. There is no fraud going on here. I assure you that the hike in electricity bills is due to the amount of electricity used and not because of any wrongdoing on our side,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

STELCO general manager Ibrahim Nashid also blamed greater electricity consumption for the increase in bills. He said inefficient building design and greater use of air-conditioners had resulting in higher bills.

So when the outside temperature spikes the machine struggles to keep up and produce cold air while working almost 24 hours,” he said.