Dubai: Why did I get a high electricity bill, even though I was out of the country?

Dubai: Have you ever come back from a month-long vacation and were shocked by a high utility bill, despite being away? In Dubai, residents can use a service provided by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (Dewa), to ensure that they can track their home’s water and electricity consumption while they are out of the UAE.

The ‘Away Mode’ service not only updates Dewa customers on their home’s electricity and water consumption and informs you if there is an unusual spike in usage.

So, before you jet off for your summer vacation this year, here is how to activate the ‘Away Mode’ and avoid a high Dewa bill.

What is the ‘Away Mode’?

The ‘Away Mode’ is a feature from Dewa’s ‘Smart Living’ initiative. This online service enables customers to monitor their electricity and water use when they are on vacation. Customers who have a smart electricity and water meter installed in their home can activate this service through their accounts on the website – www.dewa.gov.ae and the ‘Dewa’ smart app, which is available for Apple and Android devices.

Customers can also select the period for which the ‘Away Mode’ will be activated and receive daily or weekly updates via email on their home’s consumption patterns.

Do I have a smart meter? How do I find out?

The smart meters were introduced by Dewa in 2020, the smart meters allow customers to detect their electricity and water consumption online through a private dashboard and receive daily, monthly, and annual consumption reports.

To find out if you have a smart meter in your home, you must know your Dewa account number and premise number. You can find the account number on your Dewa bill.

To find the premise number, you must first visit this link: https://www.dewa.gov.ae/en/consumer/billing/premise-account/dashboard and enter your Dewa account number and click ‘search’. The premise number will then be displayed.

Once you have the account and premise number, you then need to call the DEWA customer care center number – 04 601 9999. A call center agent will then be able to inform you if your villa or apartment has a smart meter installed.

How do I activate the ‘Away Mode’ through the DEWA website?

Here is a step-by-step process on how to activate the ‘Away Mode’:

1. Access the service directly, by following this link: https://www.dewa.gov.ae/en/consumer/my-account/away-mode/anonymous-create

2. Enter your Dewa account number.

3. After you enter the Account number, you will then receive a six-digit One Time Password (OTP) via SMS on your registered mobile number with Dewa. Enter the code on the website to continue.

4. You will then need to select the ‘Away Mode’ activation period, by providing the start and end date.

5. Next, choose the ‘Consumption Details Report Frequency’ – which is daily or weekly.

6. After that, enter your email address.

7. Once you have filled out the form, click on the green ‘submit’ button. You will then receive a confirmation SMS and email from Dewa, that you have registered for the ‘Away Mode’ service.

How do I alert Dewa if there is an increase in my water and electricity consumption?

In case you notice an unusual consumption while you are away, you can raise the issue with Dewa by calling their helpline 04 601 9999 and requesting for the ‘Consumption Verification for Electricity/Water’ service. Through the service, you can verify the consumption level at your home by scheduling an onsite visit by Dewa’s technical team, for a meter inspection. However, an onsite visit has a service charge of Dh30 up to Dh75, based on meter type or size.

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