Amid COVID-19, Saudi Electric offers support to consumers to boost economic activity, says GlobalData

COVID-19 has negatively impacted companies across all industries. However, power utilities have been quick to adapt to the situation and ensure business continuity. Currently, customer relation management and brand perception are expected to be of utmost important for the utilities to hold on to their customer base. In a similar effort, the Saudi Electric Company (SEC) has laid down a plan to safeguard the private, commercial and industrial sector consumers’ interest, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.   

The Saudi Electric Company has postponed the cancellations and disconnections of electrical services due to the non-payment of bills during the COVID-19 outbreak. The utility would provide merchants and factory owners the option to pay 50% of the April, May and June 2020 bills. The remaining can be paid in installments over the six months starting from January 2021. This might specifically bring relief to the small and medium industries (finding it difficult to pay for their electricity consumption) who might have been experiencing a financial crunch induring the crisis.

As an added assistance, a 30% discount on electricity bills is being provided to the companies operating in the commercial, industrial and agricultural streams for April and May 2020, which could be extended if necessary. The support being provided by the SEC is not expected to affect the net income of the company in 2020. The notification received from the Electricity & Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA), allowed the company to balance out any potential decline in revenue through a likewise drop in operating expenses (represented by reduced municipalities fees).

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “These measures are in line with the government’s greater objective of supporting the private sector. In the case of an economic slump in the near-term uncertain market conditions, these private sector streams are likely to play a key part in the revival of the economy. Hence, the government is showing a keen interest in maintaining the health of the sector.”

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