Tuesday, 17 July 2012, 09:31 GMT
Increase of electricity prices a factor in decreasing power consumption

Workers walk past the Central Control Room of Erbil's Power Station, July 5, 2012./GLOBE PHOTO/Safin Hamid

The Kurdish Globe

"For the small violations, we charge them an amount of money,

Hiwa Abdulla, Director of Suleimaniya Electricity Distribution, announced that since the electricity prices were raised by the government, the consumption rate has been lowered by a considerable amount.

Abdulla also added that they have punished a number of people for misusing power and committing breaches.

"We are continuously working on lightening the streets of Suleimaniya," Abdulla told the Kurdish Globe.

Electricity price has changed

Regarding the changes in the power distribution system, the Sulaimaniya Distribution Director argues that the mechanism for supplying electricity is not stable now. Moreover, touching base on the complaints from the public about the price of electricity, Abdulla said "this has a number of reasons, the first being the high price. The issue is that the less a household consumes power, we sell it at a lower price, but when the consumption increases we will charge a higher rate."

Other problems include mistakes by the electricity staff in reading and recording the consumed kilowatts, and sometimes the problem is that some power meters are very old and do not record accurately.

Stealing electricity

Although the monitoring team at Abdulla's directorate continuously monitors the people, sometimes some households still use illegal ways of using electricity.

Abdulla explains that there are two kinds of infractions, i.e. stealing electricity or using it in a way that is not controlled by the government. The first type is a small household or street vendor who has done a minor infraction, but the second is an industrial place or a factory that has stolen an electricity line or played with the power meter to avoid paying electricity charges.

"For the small violations, we charge them an amount of money, but for the larger violations we use more serious punishments."

Penalties include fines and cutting electricity connection from violators for a specific period of time.

Abdulla's directorate alone has charges some IQD 30 million (USD 25,000) in fines during the past few months for such infractions.

Lightening the streets

Although since two years ago, majority of the main streets in Suleimaniya have been lit, still there are some that need lightening.

"We have taken significant steps in lightening the streets, but we still need to take further steps to have all the streets covered," explained Abdulla.