Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Sunday, May 26, 2024

Hong Kong’s low-income families cut back on food as electricity rates increase

Hong Kong’s low-income families cut back on food as electricity rates increase

Tenants will struggle with electricity tariff increase, says member of Kwai Chung Subdivided Flat Residents Alliance.

Tenants living in Hong Kong’s subdivided flats have said they might skip soup for dinner or cut their children’s extracurricular activities to save money for a coming electricity tariff increase.

“Everything is getting more expensive. I pretty much cut unnecessary costs the best I can,” said Connie Lo Sue-yin, 36, a housewife living in a 150 sq ft subdivided flat in Sham Shui Po with her husband and three-year-old daughter.

Lo said her family’s HK$17,000 (US$2,176) monthly income came from her 36-year-old husband, who worked as a truck driver.

The family paid HK$5,300 in rent each month and spent an additional HK$1,400 on average each month on electricity and water bills.


Zeng Xiaobao at home in Sham Shui Po. Zeng lives with her husband and two children in a subdivided flat.

“We were charged HK$1.8 per kilowatt-hour by the landlord, which is already higher than other people. I bet the landlord will pass the tariff hike onto us after the power companies did,” Lo said.

She added her lease would be renewed in February, when the rent was expected to be raised.

CLP Power on Tuesday revealed it would keep its basic tariff unchanged but increase its fuel charge to 62 cents per kWh. Taking into account an existing rebate, their bills will be 6.4 per cent higher starting in January compared with November’s level. HK Electric said it would increase its basic rate by 5 per cent to 114.5 cents per kWh, and raise the fuel charge to 82.5 cents per kWh, up 3.7 per cent, amounting to an overall increase of 5.5 per cent compared with this month’s prices.

The current overall per kWh charges by CLP Power and HK Electric work out to HK$1.485 and HK$1.878 per, respectively.

To save money, Lo said she might make less double-stewed soup on her induction stove and buy groceries on special during closing time at the wet markets.

“My daughter loves soup. It’s not too expensive but you have to spend at least HK$50 for a pot of soup. We just can’t do it every day. Maybe we will make it twice a week and split a pot of soup for two days,” the mother said.

Lo said she was lucky because her daughter who started school this year was fully covered by a kindergarten and child care centre fee subsidy scheme. She added she would look for a part-time job once her daughter settled in.

Kenny Ng Kwan-lim, a member of the Kwai Chung Subdivided Flat Residents Alliance, said tenants would bear a heavy burden no matter how much the tariff was raised by because some landlords overcharged them for water and electricity.

“The fixed price for subdivided flats tenants is HK$1.5 to HK$1.6 per kWh, which is higher than ordinary residents. The most expensive ones can reach HK$2.8 to HK$3 per kWh,” Ng said on a radio programme on Tuesday.

Also living in a subdivided flat in Sham

Shui Po, Zeng Xiaobao was fretful about the tariff hike, saying she felt cornered by financial stresses.

“We live in a small space and don’t have a lot of money. I feel so stressed because I need to pay extra on seemingly everything. The increase is just rubbing salt in the wound,” said the 38-year-old housewife.

Zeng paid HK$1,300 for utility bills monthly on top of the HK$6,000 rent for a 150 sq ft flat on a family income of HK$20,000. Her landlord charged HK$1.8 per kWh.

Living with her 39-year-old construction worker husband and two children aged three and seven, Zeng was cautious of every cent she spent on food and groceries. However, she worried more about the chain reaction caused by the electricity tariff increase.

“Water and gas bills, as well as rent, will follow after the electricity price increase. Landlords tend to do that,” Zeng said, adding she might have to cut her daughter’s extracurricular activities.

“She’s currently having dance lessons once a week, as well as English tutoring classes. If money is tight after the electricity bill goes up, we might reluctantly stop her from learning to dance,” she said. “There’s not much you can save on buying food.”

CLP announced it would provide 50,000 tenants of subdivided flats each with a one-off HK$800 fuel subsidy.

However, the alliance’s Ng said a “very hot weather subsidy” providing HK$500 for four consecutive months in summer would be more practical for tenants.

“There are no windows in subdivided flats. When the air is not circulated, the air conditioner needs to be turned on for a long time, which consumes more electricity than ordinary households,” Ng said.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×