“CEZ Distribution, which operates Albania’s power distribution network, receives about 3,000 complaints every month from its customers for overcharged bills or bad energy supply, company head Jozef Hejsek told a news source recently. Well, for this month at least, that number should be something like 3,000 plus 1 complaint which I filed, after three months of overcharged billing.
The situation with the electricity distribution in Albania does not seem to find a solution anytime soon. The problems abound and more so because of the wasteful and irresponsible mentality of people. Those who pay their correct energy consumption amounts are very careful not to become wasteful and over-expend themselves, but I know a considerable number of people and families who leave their lights on all the time and do not mind their energy consumption as at the end of the month it will be the same small bill amount or in cases no bill at all.
On the other side, the cost of electricity in Albania is not comparable to that of other neighboring countries, but that is another post altogether.
My personal case
Several months back I rented a place where I, my wife and our son now live. I was not able to tell at first why my energy bill would always come about the same amount, but figured it was probably because that is how much I was consuming. However, the whole situation changed once the winter season kicked in, and so did the energy bill. My electricity bill doubled and my concern tripled as it was completely out of any logic. I know how much other sizable families like mine were spending every month and so the concern grew.
It took several trips to the local energy supply office to try and get to the bottom of the issue. In the end I was told that the energy meter for the apartment had not been working so they were charging us the “afrofe” rate, which means the “what-ever-they-have-decided” rate. Which trust me was not reasonable, even by “afrofe” standards for other families. The local CEZ representative taking all the measurements had figured that since we were “new comers” to the apartment building, we would not figure it out.
Once the procedures for the replacement of the meter had started, I learned another interesting fact that the meter had not been operational for several years, more than I care to admit here. The simple fact was that we were being overcharged and I had to insist that the issue would be remedied soon otherwise I would have to continue paying the same overcharged rates. And sadly, I had to do that for two months until a new electronic meter was installed.