The Butterfly Effect
The Butterfly Effect

Pairs of coupons worth HK$50 each have been arriving in tens of thousands of Hong Kong homes. As the CLP retail and catering coupons circulate, they are having a big impact and helping put the city’s pandemic-battered economy back on track.

It isn’t often that the arrival of an electricity bill puts a smile on a customer’s face – but the first bill of 2021 was an exception for 70-year-old retiree Carrie Chui, who lives with her husband in Hong Kong’s New Territories.


“It was like sunshine on a rainy day,” she says. 


With the bill came two coupons worth HK$50 each, just in time for the Chinese New Year holiday as the couple prepared for their festive celebrations.


“I was reluctant to spend much because of the uncertain economic outlook,” she says. “But when these coupons came, I bought a can of abalone for our Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner.”

Retail and Catering Coupons Programme
A diverse mix of outlets, including pharmacies, grocery stores, and hair salons, are taking part in the Retail and Catering Coupons Programme.

Chui and her husband were among almost 800,000 households to benefit from an HK$80 million six-month Retail and Catering Coupons Programme launched by CLP Power in January.


The programme provides coupons that can be spent in over 2,400 participating retail and catering outlets to eligible customers, including customers with low electricity consumption, elderly customers who qualify for concessionary tariffs, and 10,000 tenants of subdivided units (SDUs).

Multiplier effect


As well as helping low-income families, the programme is providing a much-needed shot in the arm for small businesses hit hard by the pandemic. 


A Hong Kong government report found business sentiment among small and medium-sized enterprises in all sectors remained sluggish in January 2021, while unemployment climbed to a 16-year high of 7%.

Chan Tong Tong, who runs a grocery store in Hung Hom, says the programme has had a positive knock-on effect for suppliers and employees as well as shopkeepers.


“Consumers are using the coupons to buy daily necessities, which helps small businesses survive and keeps employees in their jobs,” she explains.


“We now have money to stock up inventories, which brings more income to our suppliers too.”

Chan Tong Tong
Shopkeeper Chan Tong Tong says the coupons have helped suppliers and employees as well as proprietors.

Kevin Tsui, an economics associate professor at Clemson University in the US, says the coupons have a multiplier effect which ripples through the wider economy, making their benefit far greater than their face value alone.

Find out more about how the programme helps the community and stimulates economic momentum in the video.
CLP Power is launching a broad range of initiatives in 2021 to help people in need, in addition to the coupons programme. They include:
  • HK$7 million in electricity subsidies for 10,000 SDU tenants and subsidise eligible SDU landlords to carry out rewiring works needed for the installation of individual electricity meters 
  • HK$10 million worth of energy-efficient electrical appliances for 5,000 families living in transitional housing
  • More than HK$20 million in electricity subsidies for more than 40,000 underprivileged households through the CLP Power Connect programme
  • HK$1.5 million for a CLP Award for Vocational and Professional Education and Training Students
  • HK$20 million in subsidies for commercial and industrial customers to improve their energy efficiency

As well as easing their economic burden, CLP Power has taken steps to care for vulnerable individuals through the pandemic, particularly elderly people. 


Before the outbreak, CLP volunteers used to host lunches for elderly people to celebrate festivals. That was not possible once social distancing restrictions were imposed.

The Dragon Boat Festival online celebration
CLP volunteers lead exercises, play games, and share hygiene and energy-saving tips with elderly people in an online visit.

To compensate for the suspension of the lunches, CLP volunteers deployed smart technology to organise a virtual celebration to mark the Dragon Boat Festival in May 2020.


“No one was allowed into homes for the elderly, and we weren’t allowed to go out,” explains Ng To Yin, who took part in the event.


“I was very happy to be able to meet up with the volunteers online and play games with them They brought us so much laughter and warmth.”

CLP's support for SMEs and the community

CLP has stood shoulder to shoulder with the people of Hong Kong for 120 years. In times of adversity and uncertainty, it does everything in its power to support the Hong Kong people and help them overcome any challenge.