An Electrifying Dilemma
Recently, there’s been a big move by the electric company, AzerEnerji, to install new electricity meters in homes. I think it could be a really good system. Instead of having analog meters and calculating the difference in usage from one month to another in order to figure out a bill, we would just pay ahead of time for electricity and make sure our balance doesn’t go down to zero. It’s digital and convenient. It also lets you know when electricity is out in the area, since the meters stop working when there’s no electricity. This also means that an electric company guy doesn’t have to come into our compound to check the meter, which is inefficient and cumbersome since someone needs to be home for him to do that. It’s new, digital, and coming to a neighborhood near you! It’s the new wave in Lənkəran!
Yet, this situation has given us a new dilemma. Yesterday, three guys from AzerEnerji in Baku and a local guy came by to look at the electric meter. They had to look at it before discussing how to change out the box for the digital one. As they were checking it out, they noticed and showed me two wires which were apparently not up to code. And then proceeded to tell us that this would result in a 5-600 AZN fine for the owner. 5-600 AZN! For a couple of wires that are missing some plastic tubing! What a pain. Here’s where it gets interesting though: The local guy is acquainted with our landlord and is trying to help him out. He gave us his number to give to Nizami for him to call. The local, Arif, said he could help us out. I think this is code for, “Call me, give me some cash, and I will be able to make the problem go away.” So Nizami can potentially get out of this by paying something like 50-200 AZN and be done with it, saving himself a couple hundred extra bucks. I think Nizami is a good guy and I wouldn’t want to see the ridiculous regulations visit a 500 AZN fine on him (that’s huge). On the other hand, I don’t really feel comfortable with the bribe-to-get-out-of-the-ridiculous-situation scheme. Obviously, I can’t do anything about it, but you can see how this is frustrating. If fines here were appropriately drawn out and enforced, we could easily avoid this idiocy.