Many residents have started using energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs to reduce electricity bills
By Joey Aguilar
Many residents in Doha have started conserving water and saving electricity after the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) revised its rates upward with effect from September 2015.
Kahramaa has introduced a new slab system for electricity and water tariffs, leading to higher bills for many users.
The water tariff which remained the same at QR4.40 per cubic metre for consumers big and small earlier has been replaced by a slab system whereby customers will be charged on the basis of their consumption.
Customers still have to pay only QR4.40 per cubic metre for up to 20 cubic metres of water. Those who consume more will have to pay according to the following slab: QR5.40 per cubic metre for 20 -50 cubic metres, QR6.40 for 50-100 cubic metres and QR7.40 for 100-150 cubic metres.
For electricity also, a similar hike has been effected. While the tariffs differed only after 4,000kwh earlier, now the minimum rate of QR0.08/kwh is applicable only to consumption up to 2,000kwh. Thereafter the revised rate of QR0.09/kwh will be charged up to consumption of 4,000kwh. Those using more than 4,000kwh, have to pay QR0.10 per additional unit. There are additional slabs for every 2,000kwh.
Many residents have already adopted various conservation measures to reduce their electricity bills.
Abie Hiedeberg and his wife Sheryl, who live in the Al Sadd area, for instance, have changed all the bulbs in their flat into “energy-efficient” fluorescent types.
Instead of using a 2,000-watt electric kettle, Abie Hiedeberg told Gulf Times that they now preferred boiling water for their coffee or tea on the gas stove.
“We all know that LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is cheaper so why not maximise its use,” he said.
While others iron their clothes once a week, Abie and his wife Sheryl find fabric softener a good alternative to keep their 2,400-watt flat iron in the shelf. To save more on electricity, they said high-wattage appliances should only be used once in a while.
Like the Hiedeberg couple, an Asian family who stays in a flat in East Al Hilal has also started to apply simple yet effective measures to lessen energy use.
A senior member of the family said they had bought a 2,200-watt vacuum cleaner last month. But after their Kahraama bill had doubled in October, they decided to go back to mopping.
“From an average of QR400 to QR500, we were surprised to see our bill going up to more than QR1,000 this summer which was very unusual,” he said .
They now make sure that air-conditioning units, power outlets and other home appliances are switched off when not in use.
Vincent, a Filipino expatriate who stays on Barwa Commercial Avenue, said their janitor now switched on fewer lights at the garage and the hallway. To conserve water, he reduces the pressure at certain times of the day.
An official of one of the biggest malls in Qatar told Gulf Times that they were instructed to replace all their bulbs into LED and fluorescent ones which consume less electricity.
The Qatar government has been encouraging residents to reduce water and energy use through Kahraama’s Tarsheed campaign.
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