You would think with the huge amount of money being spent on government compute power, and organisations which supposedly “professionally” over-see them – in this case I am told it is the CIO – you would think that those computers and their programmers can do simple maths, don’t you think?
Not in Bahrain!
Calculate my last electricity bill with me if you would:
- Current (estimated) reading 10,808 – Last reading 10,387 units = 421 units consumed.
So how can it possibly get to the 12,630 units they calculated?
I checked the meter when I received the bill just to be sure, I mean this is an estimated bill and the actual reading might very well be different, and it was, but by not that much of an amount. It was only 11,081.
Now the doubts in my mind are whizzing around, like most mugs on this island, I just pay it with hardly a glance at the figures on the bill, blindly trusting the government in this regard. My worry is how much of a ride was I taken with previous bills and were they in fact correct?
I wonder how many households in Bahrain have been given the same treatment and maybe as a result – although remote – got their electricity wrongly disconnected, or got filched of their monthly salary just to pay for such a mistake.
We went to the Electricity office to enquire and get an explanation, the guy apparently looked at the bill and concluded that it was in fact incorrect. He told us that we have two options: either pay a bit of it on our estimation for this month and the rest will be carried forward, or just ignore it and it will be corrected in the next bill.
Needless to say, I’ll wait for the next bill, thank you very much.
update 4 Sept, ’07: We finally got to the bottom of this issue; and the truth is even stranger than fiction:
The Electricity Dept has now informed me that the meter that I have at home is “of the large kind”. Which means that the units it registers are reduced by a factor of 30. Which means that whatever the difference between the current and last meter reading should be multiplied by 30 in order to get the actual consumption!
In this case, the difference in this bill come to 421 “Big Meter” units now multiply that with 30 and you get the actual reading they show which is 12,630. Which means that the bank balance will be really hit this month even with the “programmed” blackouts we get twice a day in our neighbourhood.
And do they have that little bit of information about the 30x multiplier anywhere on the bill? Nope. That’s left to develop our clairvoyant skills.