Minister of Electricity and Water Ahmad Al-Jassar announced on Wednesday that the State has opted to hike the power and water bills due to wastage and excessive consumption revealing that Government studies show that 30 percent of the output is being wasted.
Addressing the parliamentary session, the minister said the low fees had encouraged consumers to proceed with reckless consumption of electricity and water, noting that the current cost, only two fils per one kilowatt, in force since 1966, must be changed.
Citing other reasons, Minister Al-Jassar mentioned mounting consumption of fuel and numbers of consumers, as compared to those registered in 1966.
Last year, the State consumed 48 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), while the water production in 2015 reached 140 billion gallons. By the year 2035, the power consumption will soar to 145 billion kWh and water to 449 billion gallons, higher by three times. Also last year, the State spent KD 2660 million for power production and water desalination, he said, adding that KD 1875 million were for fuel oil, 785 miscellaneous spending. By 2035, costs of power and water will be nearly KD eight billion, on the basis of the oil price at USD 50 per barrel, the minister stated.
Moreover in 2015, "we used to consume 340,000 crude oil for generating power, but this figure will gradually rise in absence of levying higher fees and rationalizing consumption, therefore, we may burn per day up to one million barrels of oil per day by 2035," he said.
In case the current fees are maintained for the coming 19 years, "we will need to spend KD 89.802 billion," Minister Al-Jassar said, explaining that the government plan will save KD 34.733 billion and the annual subsidies for power and water will be in the range of KD 47.939 billion.
Private housing consumes 40 percent of the power output and 43 percent of the water. The investment sector 20 percent of the power, the commercial five percent of the power and six percent of the water, the government sector 18 percent and the industrial six percent of the electricity.
Private housing is the number one power consumer, the minister said, also making a comparison between prices in Kuwait with those in the other GCC countries, citing Oman where the lowest power cost is at 7.5 fils as compared to two fils in Kuwait.