A controversy recently emerged over exorbitant electricity bills amid the COVID-19 crisis.
During a June 22 meeting of the House of Representatives, Rabbah addressed the recent backlash surrounding the high electricity bills reported among Moroccan households and businesses amid the COVID-10 crisis.
The minister said that some 11 million invoices will be rescheduled and facilities will be ensured, adding that ONEE vowed to not cut electricity services.
Rabbah said the Ministry of Energy will establish a watch committee to monitor the electricity supply process, the fuel stocks allocated to electricity production, and ensure the continuity of supply throughout the country.
The ministry will also establish additional time limits of reading meters and distributing invoices, he continued, and electricity consumption during the confinement period will be subject to review.
Rabbah added that ONEE teams will “remain mobilized, particularly in remote areas.”
Moroccan citizens and residents recently launched an online campaign criticizing companies managing electricity, including Redal.
Customers claimed that their electricity bills during the lockdown were up to seven times higher than their usual bills. Some reported that their electricity bills, which usually hovered around MAD 200 ($21), shot up to MAD 1,500 ($156).
ONEE announced in mid-March its decision to suspend the reading of electricity meters to protect employees from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the suspension of meter reading, electricity bills were based solely on estimates, leading to disparities.
The company, however, said it resumed the reading of electricity meters on June 1.
During his remarks at Parliament, Rabbah also reassured that hydrocarbons and gas sectors have not registered “the slightest imbalance thanks to coordination with the Minisites of Interior, Economy, and Industry.”
The official also expressed his appreciation for the coordination with Walis, governors, and the private sector.
However, the minister acknowledged that the hydrocarbon sector saw a 70% drop in sales at service stations. “Some were forced to stop their activity due to the absence of travelers during the confinement period,” he said.
Morocco is still under a state of emergency until June 10, marking nearly three months of lockdown.
The country, however, eased restrictions on more than 90% of Morocco’s provinces and re-launched domestic tourism and business activities to jumpstart the country’s economic revival as it reins in the COVID-19 crisis.