Last night while I was making some soup and grilled cheese, somebody knocked on the door. Jesse looked out the peephole and came back to tell me there was some Chinese man at my door. I went to answer it and he just let himself in as he told me he was here with the “Power & Water Company.” As he made his way through my house unannounced, he went into the bathroom to check the water meter. He then found his way to my kitchen where our power meter is located behind our kitchen counter. After I took everything out of the cabinets (that have no back!), he decided he couldn’t see the meter well enough and we had to pull the entire counter off of the wall so that he could check the meter.
Once all of that chaos passed, he sat himself down at the kitchen table and started to write some stuff down in his handy dandy notebook.
I continued to cook.
A few minutes later, he called me to the kitchen table to explain to me how much power and water we had used over the last six months followed by the total of our bill. I was expected to have this money on hand and pay him right then, so I did. After I paid him, I asked for a receipt to which he said he didn’t have any. He told me that I had signed my name in his notebook stating that I had paid and that was good enough for him. I told him that I have 2 roommates who I’m sure would like to see a receipt, so he ended up writing everything down on a ripped piece of paper that I gave him.
Then, he told me what he thought about my apartment complex and that he would be slightly scared to be a foreigner living here (no idea why- our complex is completely safe) and then he left.
This was my first experience paying an electric & power bill and China and my conclusion is this:
Why yes, that DOES seem like the most effective and efficient way to manage power and electrical bills. Good job, China.