Jordan’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Malik Kabariti, announced over the weekend that the government will implement new electricity tariffs after Ramadan ends on August 7.
Kabariti said in a press statement, “The new tariff implementation will be after Ramadan and will apply to all sectors involved in this plan announced by the government last month. The increase in tariff will vary from zero to 15%, without exemption for any sector mentioned in this scenario.”
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The exemptions he mentioned will only include private households for the remainder of 2013. Beginning in 2014 households that consume more than 601 kilowatt hours of electricity will see a 15% price hike, while private homes that consume less than 600 kilowatt hours (bills of fewer than 50 Jordanian dinars per month) will be exempted from the tariffs for an additional 5 years.
For those homes that do see the price hike beginning in 2014, only amounts over 601 kilowatt hours will be taxed.
Jordan hopes to address the debilitating losses of the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO), which currently amount to JD 1.2 billion but could be as high as JD 7.5 billion (about $10.6 billion) by 2017, Kabariti said last month.
The landlocked country badly needs to raise electricity prices but the government faces protests every time it tries to do so. Right now, NEPCO sells electricity at 84 fils per kilowatt, while its cost is double that at 168 fils per kilowatt.
Jordan’s energy situation is always precarious as the natural resources-deprived country imports a staggering 98% of its energy needs. Recent disruptions in Egyptian gas lines and rising oil prices are only exacerbating the tenuous situation.