Kuwait Increasing Business and Expat Utility Rates

The government of Kuwait announced new utility rates for both businesses and expats starting May 22.

The new water and electricity rates in Kuwait for businesses as well as expats will begin for businesses on May 22 and for expats on August 22, said the utilities ministry of Kuwait this week.

The new rates will then apply to offices of the government starting in November and the agricultural and industrial sectors starting in February of 2018, according to a report in a national newspaper.

The new tariffs will increase from a per kilowatt rate of KD0.02 to KD0.05 for businesses and apartments, which is significantly less than the original proposed new charges of KD0.25 and KD0.15 respectively for shops and apartments.

This came following a criticism from members of the MP who said that significantly higher tariffs would have an impact on inflation and increase consumer prices for Kuwaitis.

All citizens of Kuwait are exempt from these utility increases.

Earlier in the week, Essam Al-Marzouq the Minister of Electricity and Water warned that the annual subsidies allocated for utilities in Kuwait could exceed KD10 billion or $32.8 billion if the growth in consumption does not start to decrease.

He added that the prediction came despite an increase in rates for businesses and expats and encouraged Kuwaiti citizens to save on energy consumption.

In his letter to the commerce minister, Al Marzouq said that the consumption rates had been increasing at alarming rates.

The estimation of subsidies exceeding KD10 billion were based upon the expected consumption rate when 250,000 new units by the Public Authority for Housing were completed.

The minister has urged more use of today’s smart home technology as a way to save on energy consumption and the ministry encouraged its citizens to adopt new measures to save energy as criteria for its citizens to apply for a construction subsidy of KD30,000 equal to $98.575.

The scrapping of a number of austerity measures has been proposed by members of parliament. The measures were brought in by a previous parliament that included the new prices for electricity and water that will go into effect in May.

The increases apply just to businesses and expat by parliament members are concerned they could result in an increase in inflation and a higher cost of living across the country.

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