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March 13, 2012

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Home » Metro » Environment

Pay utility bills online for a year, adopt a tree

LOCALS who apply for new electronic public utility bills will be rewarded with the honorary "adoption" of a tree, officials said yesterday as Shanghai began a scheme to promote environmentally friendly e-bills.

The city sends out about 40 million paper bills every month, wasting huge amounts of paper and risking the leak of personal information, said Liu Jiang, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization.

The city plans to save 1 million paper bills this year by introducing the bills delivered and paid via the Internet. Once a household makes e-payments for one year, they will be deemed to have saved a tree and will get their names placed on a tree in the city, which will they will then have "adopted."

With the new system, residents are able to check and pay bills for electricity, gas, water, telephone and Internet access. The system covers 15 major public utility companies and supports the electronic payment of 25 banks. Households can apply to have their bills delivered via e-mail or text message.

The scheme has been on trial since last November and 75,000 residents had applied to pay 129,000 monthly e-bills by the end of last month.


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