Cuban government protects families from oil price rise

Campaign News | Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Government subsidies on electricity consumption have protected Cuban families from the damage of world oil prices rises.

Granma newspaper explains today that the residential sector of the island consumes 46.1 percent of the electricity produced by the National Electro-energetic System.

In spite of the continuous rise of energy production costs resulting from oil price increases all over the world, none of the three million households have suffered from this change.

Had they not had this protection, each family's monthly bill would have been 22 times higher, according to calculations made by specialists from the Electricity Union (UNE). In the first trimester of this year, the average household bill was 32,22 Cuban pesos ( USD 1,67). Considering average international electricity rates the bill could have gone up to 708.84 pesos (USD36.74).

Besides this, some families would have had even bigger bills because their monthly level of consumption goes over 300 kilowatts per hour, the threshold for the highest rate, which is applied as an incentive for saving.

Cuba, despite of its difficult economic situation, is investing heavily in this sector, a fact that has allowed it to lower the costs of both producing and delivering electricity.

Currently, the problems are not of a generation deficit, but on the rationality in the use of energy by government and residential consumers, which has made the country emphasize energy saving measures.

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