UAE residents may face new hike in energy bills - minister

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The United Arab Emirates is consuming far too much energy and may have to raise prices to encourage consumers to change, the energy minister said.

"What is sad is that consumption is double or triple the average of the world," Suhail bin Mohamed Al Mazrouei told Reuters on Tuesday.

Heavily subsidised prices for fuel and electricity give residents in the Gulf little reason to switch to more fuel-efficient cars or limit their use of air conditioning in one of the world's hottest climates.

A fondness for gas-guzzling 4X4s and shopping malls - including one with a ski slope - has helped make the UAE the globe's seventh biggest per capita consumer of energy, World Bank data shows.

Cheap energy in the region has also attracted energy-intensive industries such as aluminium smelters.

To discourage waste, utilities in the UAE have introduced tiered water and electricity charges and launched some publicity campaigns over the last few years.

"We introduced a small adjustment in the tariff at a federal level so that people become aware of their consumption," Mazrouei said.

"If this campaign is not successful then we will have to re-look at the tariff system."

He did not say whether Emirati citizens, who pay much lower prices for electricity than expats, would also face bigger bills if the government decides to raise prices again.

Emirati nationals are estimated to make up less than 15 percent of the UAE's population.

"The nationals are less than 30 percent of consumption," the minister said. "The rest of the misuse of energy is coming from the expatriates," he said at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Gulf countries have seen a surge in immigration in the last 10 years and government-set fuel prices across the region benefit all motorists, regardless of nationality.

Bahrain's government last month proposed a rise in diesel prices in a move intended to reduce spending on subsidised fuel.

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Posted by: Vicky

Load shed system 1.5 hour every day would save a lot of energy.
please spare us from increasing the tariff rate which is already high.

Posted by: Dave

Misuse, really? So what usage does that 30% account for? the greater percentage of expats are of course going to consume more as 70 is more than 30! Or am I missing something here? We are extremely aware of electricity and water usage, why? Because it's through the roof regardless of what we use!. I regularly see people outside of large villas hosing down driveways everyday, cars washed everyday, with sprinklers on everyday and lights on 24/7, I guess that's ok when it's subsidised! I think the government need to look to that sector rather than increases in expats bills who are already subsidising 'others' enough thank you! Ref petrol yes it's cheap and yes I understand if it goes up.

Posted by: Doug

'Emirati nationals are estimated to make up less than 15 percent of the UAE's population.

"The nationals are less than 30 percent of consumption," the minister said. "The rest of the misuse of energy is coming from the expatriates," he said at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.'

Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that the UAE's Energy Minister doesn't understand basic maths or can extrapolate simple conclusions from statistics?

Posted by: Telcoguy

@Doug, Actually after reading certain posts in this forum I am only disturbed by your use of "faulty logic", I hope you will soon embrace the way of "enhanced logic" so popular here. That may involve throwing away logic statistics, or even basic arithmetic, but you will have the warm fuzzy feeling of belonging

So jokes aside, no I am not disturbed nor even shocked. Business as usual, I am afraid.

@Doug, @Dave, please lets all ignore the chilling temperatures indoors during summer (I take a jacket if i need to go inside a mall) or the fact that per his own admission per capita energy consumption of locals is roughly 2.5 times higher than that of expats and obviously their misuse per capita is even larger (3-5x), and also the almost 200 years of economic theory explaining the distortions from subsidies into consumption patterns ("may have to raise prices to encourage consumers to change")

Posted by: Rasoul

step 1: stop giving emirati drastically reduced prices for electricity and fuel.
Why discriminate? What other countries say, "nationals will pay this for fuel but expats/tourists will pay more"? locals receive many benefits, strictly because they are emirati...but when they abuse the water and electric, the expats pay for the usage by higher rates and tiers...HOLD THE PROPER PERSON ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS!
step 2: make your 4 tiered rate but tailor it to the built-up area or living area of the residence. A studio or 1BR pays same rates as villas with 4BR/5BR + maid room... obviously a 4BR cannot stay within 1st or 2nd tier of electric consumption during summer months with 4000+ sq feet of area to cool, with children rooms, etc. But we are penalized for usage as if we have a 1BR and run the aircon 24/7 at 18 degrees throughout the year. We conserve our electric and even have our lighting on sensors to turn off if there is no movement for 8 minutes but we keep paying more for what?

Posted by: Fair rules

I compltely agree and never should it be allowed to rent appartment wth chiller cherges or AC inclusive. This creates abuse.
Second the slab system should be more strickt but also related to size of Appartment or villa. a 1 bedroom must consume a lot leet than a 4 bedrom villa but in the slab system this does not seem to count what is not right either.
Do some research and come with a good plan!

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