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Electricity Charges Subsidy Scheme & Electricity Charges Relief Scheme

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Electricity Charges Subsidy Scheme & Electricity Charges Relief Scheme

Electricity Charges Subsidy Scheme for Residential Customers

The Government announced in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2019 and 2021 the provision of a maximum total subsidy of $12,000 to each eligible residential electricity account ("the existing subsidy schemes"). The sum was fully credited to relevant accounts from September 2008 to August 2009, from July 2011 to June 2014, from January 2020 to December 2020 and from June 2021 to May 2022.

In the 2022-23 Budget, the Financial Secretary announced a series of one-off relief measures to alleviate the economic pressure of the public caused by the epidemic, including an electricity charges subsidy of $1,000 to be provided to each eligible residential electricity account ("the new subsidy scheme"). Starting from 1 June 2022, an electricity charges subsidy of $80 will be credited by the Government to each residential tariff electricity account on the first day of each month for 11 consecutive months and $120 in the 12th month, making up a total of $1,000.

The subsidy can only be used for paying electricity charges. Any unused subsidy can be carried forward to pay billed electricity charges under the same account until 31 December 2024 or the close of the account (whichever is earlier).

Unused credits under the existing subsidy schemes and credits under the Electricity Charges Relief Scheme implemented by the Environment and Ecology Bureau will be utilised first in offsetting billed electricity charges.

For more details about the Electricity Charges Subsidy Scheme, please refer to the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau website.

Example


If there is no electricity charges subsidy and relief provided by the Government, Mr A will be billed $400 and $120 in June and July 2022 respectively. After the credit, the following information will be shown on his electricity bills:

Bill for June

$

Charge for electricity consumed

400

Government Electricity Charges Relief Scheme

-50

Government Electricity Charges Subsidy

-80

Amount Due

270

Government Electricity Charges Relief Scheme Balance $0
Government Electricity Charges Subsidy Balance $0

Bill for July

$

Charge for electricity consumed

120

Government Electricity Charges Relief Scheme

-50

Government Electricity Charges Subsidy

-70

Amount Due

0

Government Electricity Charges Relief Scheme Balance $0
Government Electricity Charges Subsidy Balance $10

Reference Questions and Answers

Q

Who will be eligible for the electricity charges subsidy?

A

In general, registered residential electricity accounts are eligible for the electricity charges subsidy.

Q

How will the electricity charges subsidy under the new subsidy scheme be granted?

A

Commencing on 1 June 2022, the Government will credit $80 to each residential electricity account with the electricity companies in existence on the first day of each month for 11 consecutive months and $120 in the 12th month, making up a total of $1,000.

Q

Will accounts with unused credits under the existing subsidy schemes be granted electricity charges subsidy under the new subsidy scheme?

A

All residential electricity accounts, including accounts with unused credits under the existing subsidy schemes, can benefit from the new subsidy scheme. Unused credits under the existing subsidy schemes and credits under the Electricity Charges Relief Scheme will be utilised first in offsetting billed charges. Credits from the new subsidy scheme will only be utilised after the unused credits under the existing subsidy schemes and the credits under the Electricity Charges Relief Scheme are exhausted or expired, until 31 December 2024, or the close of the account, whichever is earlier.

Q

Will tenants of service apartments be eligible for the electricity charges subsidy?

A

The mode of collecting electricity charges varies in different service apartments. While electricity charges are covered by the rental for some service apartments, some tenants are required to pay the charges to the landlords (instead of the electricity companies). As to whether the tenant of a service apartment is eligible for the electricity charges subsidy, it will be subject to factors such as having a "separate electricity meter of an electricity company" installed in that apartment, holding a residential electricity account for the power supply, as well as the agreement between the tenant and the landlord.

Q

If the electricity account relates to a leased unit, who (the tenant or the landlord) will receive the electricity charges subsidy?

A

The electricity charges subsidy will reduce the amount of electricity charges demanded in the electricity bills. As to who will be enjoying the electricity charges subsidy, this depends on the agreement between the tenant and the landlord. Generally speaking, if the tenant of the leased unit is the holder of such an electricity account, he/she only needs to pay the adjusted amount shown on the bill. If the account is registered in the name of the landlord but the tenant is required to pay the amounts as shown on the electricity company’s bills under the agreement, he/she can enjoy the electricity charges subsidy in the same way.

Q

Will tenants living in bedspace apartments and cubicles (subdivided units) be eligible for the electricity charges subsidy?

A

The electricity charges subsidy will reduce the amount of electricity charges demanded in the electricity bills. As to who will be enjoying the electricity charges subsidy, this depends on the agreement between the tenant and the landlord.

Q

Will the electricity charges subsidy cover vacant flats with registered meters?

A

In general, properties identified as new residential flats still owned by developers will not be granted the electricity charges subsidy. The electricity charges subsidy will cover other vacant flats.

Q

If a customer closes his account before 31 December 2024 due to removal or other reasons, can the unused portion of the credited electricity charges subsidy under the account be transferred to another account or converted to cash?

A

On account close, the unused portion of the credited electricity charges subsidy cannot be used further nor converted to cash.

Q

If there is a change in the registered account holder in the middle of the month during the period of crediting the electricity charges subsidy, will the electricity charges subsidy be credited to the new and old accounts on a pro-rata basis?

A

No, the registered account holder as at the first day of the month will be entitled to the full credit.

Q

If a customer closes an account on the first day of a month and another opens a new one on the same day for the same meter, which account will be given the electricity charges subsidy?

A

The new account will be given the electricity charges subsidy.

Q

During the credit period of electricity charges subsidy, will new registered accounts be entitled to the credit for the month immediately?

A

If the new account exists on the first day of the month, it will be credited the electricity charges subsidy amount for the same month. If the account comes into existence on the second day or following days of the month, the account will be credited the electricity charges subsidy from the next month. Accounts opened after the last credit day (i.e. 1 May 2023) will not be entitled to any credit of electricity charges subsidy.

Q

Will the electricity charges subsidy be granted in the form of cash?

A

No.

Q

Can the electricity charges subsidy be used for paying deposits?

A

The electricity charges subsidy can only be used for paying electricity charges. It cannot be used for paying deposits.

Q

What is the validity period of the unused electricity charges subsidy?

A

Unused electricity charges subsidy can be carried forward to offset electricity bill for the same electricity account until 31 December 2024, or the close of the account, whichever is earlier.

Electricity Charges Relief Scheme for Residential Customers

The Government will grant each eligible residential electricity account a maximum electricity charges relief of $3,000 over 60 months (i.e. $50 per month), commencing from January 2019. The relief can only be used for paying electricity charges. Any unused relief can be carried forward to pay billed electricity charges under the same account until 31 December 2023 or the close of the account (whichever is earlier).

For more details about the Electricity Charges Relief Scheme, please refer to the Environment and Ecology Bureau website.

Example

If there is no Government relief provided, Mr A will be billed $40 and $70 in January and February 2019 respectively. After the credit, the following information will be shown on his electricity bills:

Bill for January

$

Charge for electricity consumed

40

Government relief credited

40

Amount due

0

Government relief carried forward

10

Bill for February

$

Charge for electricity consumed

70

Government relief credited

60

Amount due

10

Government relief carried forward

0

Reference Questions and Answers

Q

Who will be eligible for the electricity charges relief?

A

In general, registered residential electricity accounts are eligible for the relief.

Q

How will the electricity charges relief be granted?

A

The Government will credit $50 to each eligible residential account with the power companies in existence on the first day of each month for 60 consecutive months, commencing from 1 January 2019. For each calendar month, only one residential account holder can get the relief in respect of a residential address.

Q

Will accounts with unused subsidy previously provided by the Government be granted the electricity charges relief starting from January 2019?

A

All residential electricity accounts, including accounts with unused subsidy, can benefit from the electricity charges relief scheme. Unused subsidy that has been credited to the electricity account will be utilised first. Relief amount credited to the account will be utilised after the unused subsidy is exhausted or expired.

Q

Will tenants of service apartments be eligible for the electricity charges relief?

A

The mode of collecting electricity charges varies in different service apartments. While electricity charges are covered by the rental for some service apartments, some tenants are required to pay the charges to the landlords (instead of the electricity companies). As to whether the tenant of a service apartment is eligible for the relief, it will be subject to factors such as having a "separate electricity meter of an electricity company" installed in that apartment, holding a residential electricity account for the power supply, as well as the agreement between the tenant and the landlord.

Q

If the electricity account relates to a leased unit, who (the tenant or the landlord) will receive the electricity charges relief?

A

Electricity charges relief will reduce the amount of electricity charges demanded in the electricity bills. As to who will be enjoying the relief, this depends on the agreement between the tenant and the landlord. Generally speaking, if the tenant of the leased unit is the holder of such an electricity account, he/she only needs to pay the adjusted amount shown on the bill. If the account is registered in the name of the landlord but the tenant is required to pay the amounts as shown on the electricity company's bills under the agreement, he/she can enjoy the relief in the same way.

Q

Will tenants living in bedspace apartments and cubicles (subdivided units) be eligible for the relief?

A

Electricity charges relief will reduce the amount of electricity charges demanded in the electricity bills. As to who will be enjoying the relief, this depends on the agreement between the tenant and the landlord.

Q

Will the electricity charges relief cover vacant flats with registered meters?

A

In general, properties identified as new residential flats still owned by property developers will not be granted the electricity charges relief. The relief will cover other vacant flats.

Q

If a customer closes his account before 31 December 2023 due to removal or other reasons, can the unused portion of the credited relief under the account be transferred to another account or converted to cash?

A

On account close, the unused portion of the credited relief cannot be used further nor converted to cash.

Q

If there is a change in the registered account holder in the middle of the month during the period of crediting the electricity charges relief, will the relief be credited to the new and old accounts on a pro-rata basis?

A

No, the registered account holder as at the first day of the month will be entitled to the full $50 credit.

Q

If a customer closes an account on the first day of a month and another opens a new one on the same day for the same meter, which account will be given the electricity charges relief?

A

The new account will be given the relief.

Q

During the credit period of electricity charges relief, will new registered accounts be entitled to the credit for the month immediately?

A

If the new account exists on the first day of the month, it will be credited the relief amount for the same month. If the account comes into existence on the second day or following days of the month, the account will be credited the relief from the next month. Accounts opened after the last credit day (i.e. after 1 December 2023) will not be entitled to any credit of relief.

Q

Will the electricity charges relief be granted in the form of cash?

A

No.

Q

Can the electricity charges relief be used for paying deposits?

A

The electricity charges relief can only be used for paying electricity charges. It cannot be used for paying deposits or other charges.

Q

What is the validity period of the unused electricity charges relief?

A

Unused relief can be utilised to offset electricity bill for the same electricity account until 31 December 2023.

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