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Consumer protection guidelines issued for generator subscribers.

Summary: The Economy Ministry released consumer protection guidelines for electricity generator subscribers Monday.

BEIRUT: The Economy Ministry released consumer protection guidelines for electricity generator subscribers Monday.

The guidelines were issued in a circular from caretaker Economy Minister Raed Khoury, following the Oct. 1 deadline for the installation of meters to track power consumption.

The circular affirmed that generator owners are not allowed to collect fees from consumers before the end of the month, as bills will now be based on each household's monthly consumption and the pricing set by the Energy Ministry, which was pegged at LL410 ($0.27) per kilowatt-hour.

If subscribers already paid this month's bill in advance, and the amount is higher than their consumption by the end of the month, the difference should be refunded.

The circular added that "generator owners have the right to take a one-time deposit of LL100,000 ($66) for every 5 ampere subscription and LL175,000 for 10 ampere subscription," the circular said.

Subscribers should also be provided with a receipt with the amount of that deposit so they can fully retrieve the amount if they decide to cancel the subscription.

"If the subscriber is unable to pay their bill at the end of the month, the generator owner has the right to deduct the bill's amount from the deposit that was paid and return to the citizens the remaining amount after the subscription stops."

Khoury added in the circular that it is the responsibility of generator owners to pay for the meters themselves and for their installation, while subscribers will bear the cost of installing the cables.

Khoury previously told The Daily Star that owners also have the right to ask for a small monthly subscription fee that covers their fixed costs: LL15,000 for a 5 ampere subscription and LL23,000 for a 10 ampere subscription, and that generator owners are allowed to ask for a deposit at the beginning of every month. Monday's circular made no mentions of these regulations.

He also previously said that if any resident finds that their electricity generator provider will not abide by the regulations, they should file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Bureau.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Oct 9, 2018
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