New electrical information, darn! 10/13/14

There are always surprises here! I went to the bank where I’ve been paying for our electricity. It’s not far from the apartment complex. I’ve usually gone in, picked up a “queuing” number and waited my turn. On average, it takes at least half an hour. My part doesn’t take long, but there’s always someone in front of me that takes forever to complete their errand.

I was calmly waiting, and it looked like it was going to take forever. One of the Chinese bank employees asked if I was paying my electricity. She asked if I had a bank card. I told her, “yes, but from another bank”. No problem! They had machines (looks like an ATM) where I could pay for the electricity. They helped me through the procedure and it was simple. Insert my bank card, post how much I wanted to pay for electricity, insert my “electric card”, and “voila”, it’s done!!!! So easy! This is going to make life much simpler.

Back at the apartment, later, when I returned from buying groceries, I checked the electric meter. Before I went to pay for more electricity, the meter showed 79rmb. When I returned from buying more electricity at the bank, the meter showed 479rmb. The only problem was that I had paid 1000rmb (I was trying to save myself a few trips.). What happened to the 600 rmb not showing up on the meter?

Lillie, our ayi, called the “Beijing State Grid” phone number, and spoke to someone who told her we had “overused” our electricity allotment this year (2014), and were now paying the “premium price” for electricity. I’m not exactly sure what all that means, except that until January 1, 2015, the price for my electricity is almost triple what I’ve been paying? I had no idea there was any kind of limits placed on usage. Live and learn!

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