Government considers raising electricity prices for high consumers

The government is considering raising electricity prices for the highest consumption sectors, Electricity and Energy Minister Saad Mahmoud Balbaa said on Sunday.

The move comes on the heels of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil's announcement that compulsory electricity rationing may soon be enforced.

Balbaa told Al-Masry Al-Youm that there will be no “immediate increase” in bills, adding that, “There are studies [being] submitted by various entities to find a way [to ration].”

He added that the decision to raise electricity prices is only in the hands of the entire Cabinet, not the Ministry of Electricity and Energy.

He stressed, however, that all the studies conducted by the government focus on the greatest consumers and that the increase would not affect average consumers.

The ministry, he said, has found consumption rates reaching 3,000 or 4,000 kilowatts, and attributed the rise to increased use of air conditioners, adding that homes that use air conditioners should pay more than those that just use fans.

Government sources said that there have already been studies that targeted citizens who use air conditioners excessively during the summer, which is reflected in the increase of consumption rates and bills as well.

Sources said that many such participants do not care about their increasing bills, as their incomes are also growing.

During the summer months, Egypt witnessed frequent electricity outages in several parts of the country, which led to a number of protests in front of power plants. The government announced in August the opening of a new plant in West Damietta that is linked to the national grid.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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