Unrealistic tariffs for water and electricity: main drive for overconsumption

The Energy Minister, Ali Ardakanian, introduces the unrealistic tariffs for water and electricity as the main drives for overconsumption.

“Our models in consumptions are improper. Although the temperature for thermal comfort is defined to be around 25 Celsius, in several hot regions, thanks to cheap and subsidized power, people set their temperature around 18 degrees”, says Mr Ardakanian, as Akhbar Sanaat quotes him.

The Energy Minister believes that the elimination of subsidies and making tariffs realistic are the only factors which can change these schemes. Giving incentives for low-consumption users and scaling the bill for high consumers can encourage users to manage their consumption on their own.

Although until a decade ago purchasing bottled water was very strange for Iranians, today it has become quite normal for many households. Mr Ardakanian compares the prices and adds: “For one cubic meter of water in bottle, we readily pay 20 million rials. But for the same amount of tap water, with the same quality, households pay only 5000 rials, i.e. five rials for each liter of water. As long as prices for tap water are so low, you cannot stop people from using tap water for washing the pavement or their cars”.

He also points to cultivation of rice in arid areas in Iran where such activities are already prohibited by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“There are nearly 170 thousand hectares of land under rice cultivation where water is extremely scarce. We have to provide a substitute source of income for these farmers, so they can switch to other activities which suit their region.”

The Ministry of Energy hopes to get the improvement of the Parliament to bring tariffs toward their realistic prices.