Aproposal by the Energy Ministry to raise water and electricity tariffs by 7% was ratified by the Cabinet. The new rates will go into effect on April 21, Barq News reported.
According to the news agency, power generation cost, including production and transmission, is 2 cents per kilowatt-hour. Electricity is presently sold at 0.7 cents per kWh.
Data released by the ministry show that among 200 countries, Iran sells the cheapest power on average after Egypt, Kuwait and Myanmar (Burma).
The new rule puts water charges for users at about 10,700 rials (10.7 cents) per cubic meters.
The Energy Ministry says the higher tariffs are aimed at compensating a part of distribution costs and encouraging subscribers to consume less.
According to energy experts including Mahmoud Reza Haqifam, a deputy at the Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company, as long as electricity prices are not adjusted upwards, the problem of overconsumption and waste will persist.
Referring to the unacceptably high energy consumption rates that are reportedly 14 times that of Japan, Haqifam said if effective measures are not taken to check the current pattern, "we will face serious challenges in generating energy for future generations."
"One comparison between Iran’s energy consumption and global figures indicates that the world's primary energy consumption increased 27% in the past decade, while our overall energy use rose by 80%," he said.