Citizens complain of ‘surprisingly’ high January electricity bills

Gov’t, experts offer insight into increased charges

electric bill february report
AMMAN — Social media users in Jordan have complained about receiving unexpectedly high electricity bills for the past month, expressing confusion around the reasons for this apparent surge in energy costs. اضافة اعلان
Jordanian housewife Dalal Khalaf, 32, told Jordan News that her household electricity bill typically ranges between JD35 and JD40, but “I was surprised when the last bill was for JD60”.

"Our consumption of electricity has not changed or increased compared to past months," she added.

Twitter user Mohamad Sobeih tweeted: "I noticed an increase in my electricity bill by JD50. I need an explanation.”

Jordan’s energy lossesAccording to energy expert Amer Al-Shobaki, the government has not activated proper oversight of electricity distribution companies, allowing breaches in electricity networks that lead to severe energy losses.

The parties responsible for Jordan’s massive energy losses are electricity distribution companies, where leakage occurs along medium- or low-voltage lines, and electricity thieves, Shobaki explained. Together, the challenges of leakage and theft lead to losses of about 20 percent in the Kingdom.
"I noticed an increase in my electricity bill by JD50. I need an explanation.”
Globally, the figure stands between 2 and 3 percent. 

Capacity charges, limited daylightWhen it comes to electricity prices, “capacity charges” refers to the cost of ensuring the electric grid continues functioning at times of highest demand.

In Jordan, capacity costs the government-owned National Electric Power Company JD380 million annually, Shobaki said. The company also pays JD55 million every year on a floating liquified gas vessel in Aqaba, another factor contributing to citizens’ high electricity bills.

Energy expert Hashem Aqel suggested that soaring electricity bills in the winter season are also due to the short days, which push citizens to use lighting more frequently. 

Water heatersAqel also said that some citizens power their electric water heaters for long periods on end, due to the false assumption that it is more economical to leave them on than to power them in shorter bursts.

Although water heaters are designed to turn on and off automatically to keep water heated at a certain temperature, over time and with age and use, lime deposits on internal thermostats cause the heaters to continue operating even when the water is at the proper temperature, he explained.

This leads to increased household energy consumption.
Together, the challenges of leakage and theft lead to losses of about 20 percent in the Kingdom. Globally, the figure stands between 2 and 3 percent.
The expert advised citizens to turn on water heaters only as needed to maintain a reasonable consumption rate.

Government remarksOn Tuesday, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources provided some clarification on the rise in electricity costs for many citizens, for both subsidized and unsubsidized bills.

In an explanatory video on Facebook, the ministry showed that a rise in electricity bills during the winter season is normal, and results from the significant decrease in temperatures and longer periods of darkness, which prompt citizens to use more lighting and heating than they use during other seasons.

According to the video, reasons for high winter electricity bills can include increased consumption of water heaters in the winter for longer hours, the use of electric heaters, and raised thermostats on AC units.

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