By Mohammad Ghazal – Dec 31,2015

AMMAN — The Energy Ministry on Thursday warned against stealing electricity as it would likely lead to power cuts, especially in light of the current weather conditions affecting the country.

“During winter and the depression that is currently affecting the country, the power load rises rapidly and when some resort to stealing electricity, this will further increase the load on the grid, which leads to power cuts,” Haidar Gammaz, spokesperson of the ministry, told The Jordan Times.

The official urged citizens to ration the use of energy during the prevailing weather conditions.

The national grid’s maximum capacity currently stands at 3,600 megawatt, according to the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).

The load on the grid reached 2,850MW on Thursday morning, NEPCO Production Design Director Amin Zaghal told the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

Gammaz added that the current reserve of fuel derivatives is sufficient and the country’s power generation plants are ready to face the expected load on the grid during winter.

He said the ministry has taken several measures over the past few days to ensure the continued supply of electricity across the Kingdom.

The ministry has also opened an emergency room at its premises to coordinate with all authorities and power companies to ensure continued supply of fuel derivatives as well, Gammaz said.

Earlier this week, Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission Chief Commissioner Farouq Hiyari said all the country’s power plants took the necessary measures to meet the expected demand on electricity.

According to Hiyari, more than 7,000 cases of electricity thefts were detected since the beginning of this year due to increased enforcement and crackdown on violators.

Electricity theft is estimated to cost the Kingdom about JD60 million annually.

Current laws stipulate that any person involved in stealing electricity faces between six months and two years in prison and a fine of no less than JD2,000 and no more than JD10,000, or both penalties.
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