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People with limited incomes won’t have to pay more for water and electricity as a result of increased utilities tariffs due to come into effect on 1 January as part of sweeping price increases, the kingdom’s Water & Electricity Minister Abdullah Al-Hussayen was quoted as saying yesterday.
The higher charges for utilities follow a 67 per cent increase in the price of Octane 91 gasoline, the most popular gasoline sold in the kingdom, to SR 0.75 ($0.20) a litre on 28 December. The kingdom’s Octane 95 was increased by 50 per cent to SR 0.90 from SR 0.60 on the same day.
The kingdom’s gasoline is still amongst the cheapest in the world: gasoline in the US now costs about $0.44 a litre.
“The new tariffs are aimed at those segments of society who extensively consume water and electricity,” Al-Hussayen was quoted as saying by local media on Tuesday. “For example, 250 litres of water consumption per day will cost SR 92 per month with the new tariff, and this is reasonable. We sincerely hope that with the new prices, people will start conserving water.”
Al-Hussayen said about 87 percent of the water and electricity bills issued this year will not be affected by the new prices. He said that 52 per cent of households will pay no more than one riyal a day for water, or SR 30 a month, and that 90 per cent of households will pay no more than an additional SR 5 a month.
Other features of the price increases announced on 28 December include:
* A 79 per cent increase in gas prices to $1.25 a million BTU from $0.75 a million BTU
* An increase of more than 100 per cent in the price of ethane to $1.57 a million BTU from $0.75 a million BTU
* Increases in domestic propane, butane and natural gasoline prices to 80 per cent of average monthly sales price to Japan less shipping and insurance from Ras Tanura to Japan.
* Increases in the domestic prices of kerosene, industrial diesel, transport diesel, Arabian light crude oil, Arabian heavy crude oil and heavy fuel oils.
The price of electricity has been fixed as follows:
SR 0.05 a kWh for up to 2,000 kWhs
SR 0.1 a kWh for 2,001-4,000 kWhs
SR 0.2 a kWh for 4,001-6,000 kWhs
SR 0.3 a kWh for 6,001 kWhs and more
- Commercial sector
SR 0.16 for up to 4,000 kWhs a month
SR 0.24 for 4,001-8,000 kWhs a month
SR 0.30 for 8,000 kWhs and more a month
- Industrial sector
Average tariff of SR 0.18 a kWh
- Farm sector
SR 0.1 a kWh or up to 2,000 kWhs a month
SR 0.1 a kWh for 2,001-4,000 kWhs a month
SR 0.12 a kWh for 4,001-5,000 kWhs a month
SR 0.12 a kWh for 5,001-8,000 kWhs a month
SR 016 a kWh for more than 8,000 kWhs a month
- Government sector
SR 0.32 a kWh for all consumption.
Water and sanitation prices have been fixed as follows;
- Consumers using less than 15 cubic metres a month will be charged SR 0.10 a cubic metre for water and SR 0.05 a cubic metre for sanitation
- Consumers using 16-30 cubic metres a month will be charge SR 1 a cubic metre for water and SR 0.50 a cubic metre for sanitation
- Consumers using 31-45 cubic metres a month will be pay SR 3 a cubic metre for water and SR 1.50 a cubic metre for sanitation
- Consumers using 46-60 cubic metres a month will pay SR 4 a cubic metre for water and SR 2 a cubic metre for sanitation.
- Consumers using more than 60 cubic metres a month will pay SR 6 a cubic metre for water and SR 3 a cubic metre for sanitation.