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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Kahramaa: Qatar households using less power, but overall demand still rising

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As Qatar works to become more environmentally friendly, Kahramaa has announced a small but significant victory – a 10.5 percent per capita reduction in power consumption in the first six months of this year, compared to the same period last year.

But the country’s overall electricity and water usage continue to rise as the population grows, Qatar’s state-run utilities company said in a new report issued over the weekend. 

Still, the reduction in individual household usage is a shot in the arm for Kahramaa’s Tarsheed campaign, which has been tasked with reducing electricity usage by 20 percent and water consumption by 35 percent over the next few years.

Last year, usage of both utilities jumped 11 percent.

Assessing change

No explanation has been given for this year’s reduction, but a combination of more energy-efficient appliances, better insulated buildings and increased public awareness have been cited as possible factors fueling the change. 

Notably, although nationals receive both utilities for free, Qatar’s majority expat population pays for electricity and water usage. Thus, the country’s rising cost of living could also help explain the reduction.

Meanwhile, the report also states that overall electricity usage is continuing to go up month by month. There are now 285,659 electricity customers in Qatar, compared to 284,306 in the first quarter of this year.

A comparison of the maximum electricity loads yesterday versus the same date a year ago tells a similar story – the number of times Kahramaa has reached capacity each day is up 6 percent this year. 

Additionally, Qatar’s peak usage increased by 34 percent in the last quarter, but the company points out that it still managed to supply a 36 percent surplus of energy.

Struggle

There have been times this year, however, when the country’s electricity supply has struggled, leading to intermittent power outages over the summer, including a Ramadan weekend in which hundreds of residents were left without air conditioning for several hours. 

Qatar’s water consumption rates also continue to soar, jumping 13 percent from the first to second quarter of this year – from 1.164 mm3 in January-March to 1.336 mm3 in April-June.

The number of customers has also risen in line with population expansion, from 234,335 in January-March to 235,741 in the last quarter.

The report ends with an assessment of Kahramaa’s customer service performance, saying that its technicians currently manage to restore service in an average of 3.3 hours for electrical issues, and 6 hours for water.

They also say that their call center answered 95.9 percent of calls in the last quarter – although it doesn’t say why the other 4.1 percent of calls went unanswered.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Anton Fomkin

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