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Electricity, water subsidy reform: FAQs

20 Dec 2020

What is meant by subsidies reallocation?

It means following a more targeted approach in allocating annual government subsidies to the most deserving households, with the aim of rationalising consumption, raising the efficiency of government spending and enhancing the social safety net. In the current approach, electricity and water subsidies were extended to all 

electricity and water consumers in Oman without any distinction between citizens and non-citizens and remained unchanged regardless of the varied living standards of citizens.

Why did the government decide to reallocate subsidies within the electricity and water sector?

 

To channel the support to the most eligible households.

To enhance the social safety net system.

To achieve financial sustainability.

To promote a culture of rational consumption and raise the efficiency of government spending.

To encourage the use of other energy alternatives such as solar energy and reduce dependence on gas and mitigate pollution.

To encourage the private sector investments, promote competition to improve the provided services.

 

What is the timeline for implementing the reformed subsidies? 

According to the medium-term fiscal balance plan (2020-2024), the subsidies will be gradually redirected based on the category of consumers, starting from January 1, 2021, until 2025.

What are citizens required to do after the implementation of the new tariff?

All you have to do is update your data for all electricity accounts that you own by contacting the electricity service providers in your area. You must also update your data for all water accounts with Diam or through the Water Directorate in the Office of the Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar for customers of this directorate. The system will automatically determine the accounts associated with the civil ID for each customer and ensure the implementation of the Citizen Account Tariff for the highest-consuming two accounts owned by any Omani citizen. Any additional accounts will be subject to the Resident tariff and additional accounts tariff.

 

What documents are required to update customer data?

For electricity:

* Civil ID

*Electricity accounts details

*Property deed of ownership (Mulkiya) or a municipality-approved lease agreement

 

For water:

*Civil ID

*Water accounts details

*Property deed of ownership (Mulkiya) or a municipality-approved lease agreement

What if the customer is late in updating his data?

*  The new system has allowed a six months’ period, ending on June 30, 2021, for customers to update their data following the implementation of the new tariff. However, we advise the customers to update their data as soon as possible so that they can benefit from the Citizen Account Tariff. 

*  The Citizen Account Tariff will be applied retroactively to the customer who updated his data between January 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021, but only for two accounts.

*  If the customer updates data after June 30, 2021, he will not benefit from the retroactive calculation of the Citizen Account Tariff. This Citizen Account Tariff will only reflect on customer bill in the month following the date of data update. 

What should I do when buying or renting a home?

When you buy or rent a home, contact the electricity or water service provider and update the property ownership or the lease contract information. 

How will the residential tariff be calculated?

The tariff for the residential category is devised as follows:

Citizen account tariff, resident tariff and additional citizen accounts

Guide to new electricity and water tariff structures being implemented across all customer categories from January 1, 2021

The electricity and water subsidy reform programme is part of the initiative under the Medium-Term Fiscal Plan (2020-2024). The subsidy reform aims to enhance sustainability of the utilities sector and improve the efficiency of government spending while also strengthening the social safety net ecosystem by rechanneling government subsidies to the segments of society most in need. 

A gradual approach to subsidy reform has been adopted that aims to gradually reduce the reliance on government subsidies of the different customer categories over the coming years, whilst taking into account the maintenance of government subsidies to certain Omani households. As part of the subsidy reform programme, new electricity and water tariff structures will be implemented across all customer categories beginning from January 1, 2021.

To ensure that the subsidies are delivered to the targeted segments, the government has developed the National Subsidy System, a platform which includes fuel, electricity and water subsidy to provide protection for the citizens deemed most vulnerable as a result of the fiscal measures taken in the aftermath of falling oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

National Subsidy System (NSS)

What is the National Subsidy System for electricity and water?

It is a platform that facilitates providing subsidy to eligible Omani households to mitigate the impact from implementation of the electricity and water subsidy reform programme. Households covered under the National Subsidy System will receive support in the form of deduction in their electricity bill, in the first stage, and in their water bill in the following stages.

How can I benefit from the National Subsidy System? 

Register in the National Subsidy System for electricity and water subsidies by downloading the NSS Application on your smart phone or visit the official websitewww.nss.gov.om

For more information and updates about the NSS, kindly follow the NSS on Twitter: @nationalsubsidy

When will the NSS support be rolled out? 

You can register in the NSS starting from December 20, 2020. Eligible Omani citizens who have registered in the NSS will receive the additional subsidies starting from their January 2021 bill, which will be issued in February 2021 by their electricity service provider. 

How are the household members identified? 

Members of a household are the individuals who are associated with the applicant (head of the family) and live in the same property for which the applicant will receive electricity and water subsidies. 

Are domestic workers counted among the members of the household?

Domestic workers are not included in the number of household members when determining eligibility.

Which income is taken into consideration? Is it only the income of the head of the householdor that of all working family members?

The total income of the household, including the head of the family, the spouse, and all income earners within the same household is calculated in order to establish eligibility. 

Technical Questions 

What are the requirements for applying for electricity and water subsidies in the NSS?

* First: Register a valid civil ID with the service provider.

* Second: Choose a valid electricity account to apply the subsidy to.

* Third: Maintenance of the eligibility criteria set by the government.

 

Who shall be responsible for applying to the NSS? 

The head of the household shall be the one to apply for electricity and water subsidies, and no other member can apply directly for the subsidy.

If the electricity account is registered in the name of a person other than the head of the household, can the household benefit from the subsidies?

Yes, if the electricity account was registered in the name of someone other than the head of the household, then he/she can apply to benefit from the National Subsidy System.

If I am already registered in the fuel subsidy system, do I have to register again in the NSS to benefit from the electricity and water subsidies? 

Existing beneficiaries of Fuel Subsidy System can directly login to the Electricity and Water Subsidy System, as they have the option to register and apply directly from their user dashboard. Eligibility will be subject to the criteria.

 

 

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