After a some recent fiascos with bills in my personal life in Shanghai, I figured a post on how to read bills in China would go a long way. Bills in China are something that everyone dreads paying, but the silver lining is that in China, bills are actually quite cheap. Your most expensive bill will be the electric bill, and will obviously be high in the winter (when the heaters are on) and in the summer (when youre using the air conditioner). Its always amazing to get bills in the spring and fall and find them to be very cheap.

In almost all circumstances, there will be 3 bills that you get in your mailbox:

Electricity bill Comes once a month

Gas bill Comes once every 2 months

Water bill Comes once every 2 months

Note: Im not going to get into internet or phone bills here, because they differ in a lot of circumstances. The other 3 above bills in my experience are standard for everyone.

Reading Bills in China

***Click the image to enlarge***

Explanation of the bill

Period of time the bill covers

This is the time period that you are being charged for. Some common sense allows you to figure this out, but just in case there is any confusion, look for the following characters:

年 Year 月 Month 日 Day

Total Owed

This is the amount that you need to pay. Pay at any convenience store.

Date of Issue & Payment Due Date

The date of issue is when they mail the bill out to you.

The payment due date is the last day you can pay the bill at the convenience store. If you fail to pay the bill by the due date, you will have to go to the local utility office to pay it. This can be a big pain, so make sure to check your mailbox at least once every 2 weeks.

Tagged with → bills • money