Raising price of fuel for heating burdens Jordanians — experts

Jordanians buy kerosene fuel from an Amman gas station. (File Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Experts cautioned that another rise in kerosene and diesel prices used for cooking and heating will further burden Jordanians, as they gear up for the winter season when consumption of the two essential commodities shoots up.اضافة اعلان

Last week, the government raised the prices of kerosene and diesel by 35 fils, and simulatenously reduced the price of both grades of 90- and 95-Octane gasoline by 15 fils, saying the decision was effective November 1.

Energy expert Amer Al-Shobaki said that although the increase in the price of oil derivatives takes place gradually, its effect on people is “significant”.

He explained that low income Jordanians “feel this increase the most, and they find themselves forced to cope with the new situation”.

Consumers in Amman, Zarqa, and Irbid are switching to gas cylinders for heating because of their fixed price.

The government, however, should think about people in outlaying villages who believe that heaters using kerosene and diesel are the best, and most economical option for them, Shobaki noted.

Many Jordanians believe that these heaters are part of the winter custom they cannot dispose of, especially in households which grew accustomed to the kerosene-fueled heaters they also use for cooking, including toasting bread and roasting sweet potatoes.

According to Shobaki, diesel and kerosene are essential to many families and there should be a “drastic solution to help these people, such as providing them with gas coupons for the three months of winter”.

He pointed out that an increase in illegal logging is expected this winter, when many Jordanians will opt for wood to heat up their homes.

Emad, a wall painter and father of two girls, told Jordan News that he decided to “switch from kerosene to gas heaters”.

“But the thermal energy of gas heaters is not the best,” he said.

“Now, I and my family must all sit room, where the gas heater will be,” he said. “With the doors and windows closed, the heating will not be propoer in the absence of ventalation.”

Energy expert Hashem Akel told Jordan News that despite the increase in kerosene prices, he believed that “the use of kerosene in heating is minimal in Jordan”.

“The majority of Jordanian people are now using gas heaters, since it is safer for childern and cannot flip over as easy as the kerosene fueled heaters,” he said.

He said that the increase in oil prices is a global crisis, and that the government “bears a huge burden of the price difference for gas”. He explained that in 2021, the government paid around JD82 million for the price difference for gas, and until last September the price difference was JD103 million.

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