KUWAIT CITY, Sept 21: While households are still coping with the increase in petrol prices, many in Kuwait have begun to brace themselves for the rise in electricity tariffs that will have a more significant impact on their wallets. In this week’s Arab Times online poll, readers shared their many concerns over the price hike.
The majority of respondents, 32 percent, expressed the fear that the prices of commodities and services would skyrocket as a result of higher storage and operational costs. Others were also wary of artificial price hikes being instituted to exploit consumers. “The rise in electricity prices is too drastic and unreasonable. How are families supposed to cope with not just a fat electricity bill but also a surge in commodity prices as a result of this?”, a reader shared.
24 percent of respondents felt that it was time to make a shift to more renewable sources. “The costs of renewable energies have declined and their use can significantly benefit Kuwait’s economy and environment. We have to explore this potential for electricity output to meet our needs today and in the future”, a voter expressed. Another respondent pointed out, “Many countries in the world have been investing in renewable energies and they contribute an important chunk of the total energy consumption.”
18 percent of voters believe that electricity usage should be billed monthly & dues collected on time to avoid showing losses and another 5 percent of respondents felt that handing over electricity dept without transparency to private companies would be disastrous.
Another 7 percent of voters felt that cost of producing electricity in Kuwait is very less compared to Western countries. Oil producing nations have significantly lower cost of production as a result of the advantage of cheap and abundant oil supplies.
14 percent felt that as the weather continues to get more implacable in the summer months, air conditioning should be treated as a necessity. “If Kuwait was blessed with temperate weather, we could do drastically cut our consumption. But how can we cut back on air-conditioning? If the costs are exorbitant, everyone will flee Kuwait in the summer months.” Some remained supportive of the price hike.
“Electricity prices in Kuwait have remained unchanged since 1966. I think we should recognize that this is not sustainable. The population is on the rise which means demand is going to naturally increase. We should look ahead and see the necessity of this as well as the positives, higher prices will make consumers curb their consumption and we can hope that inefficiencies will be dealt at both the production and consumption levels.”
By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff