Oman Imposes New Electricity Charges on Its Biggest Consumers

  • Tariff to hit government, industrial, commercial users
  • Accounts targeted receive 20% of state power subsidies

Oman is imposing a new tariff on the country’s biggest electricity consumers as it grapples with a plunge in oil income.

The charge, which the government didn’t specify, will target about 10,000 accounts, including those of state entities and industrial and commercial companies, the Authority for Electricity Regulation said in a statement on Wednesday. The change will come into effect immediately for new users, and be imposed on existing customers from January, it said.

Oman, which like its Gulf neighbors has provided generous utility subsidies, is looking to reduce the burden on revenues hit by cheaper oil. Kuwait in April approved increasing the price of water and electricity for expatriates and businesses for the first time in half a century. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also raised utility prices, among a host of other measures to lower spending.

The new tariff “will improve efficient use among consumers” and encourage responsible consumption, Qais Saud Al Zakwani, executive director of the authority, said in the statement. The targeted users consume about 30 percent of all electricity generated and receive 20 percent of the power subsidies, according to the statement.

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