SEC faces citizens’ ire
As summer temperatures rise coinciding with the holy month of Ramadan, several areas in Jeddah are experiencing power outages causing a great deal of inconvenience to its residents.
Recently, a number of residents in Jeddah detained a vehicle of the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to protest against its negligence to restore power to Al-Adel district in the east of Jeddah where they suffered an outage from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the first two days of Ramadan.
The SEC told local newspapers that the high consumption of electricity had increased the pressure on low ampere cables and that it would send a team to restore electricity to the district.
“We spent two days without electricity which was interrupted for more than seven hours and when we complained to the company to fix the technical problems to restore power, they did not respond,” Abu Abdullah, one of the residents of Al-Adel district said.
The local media published photos showing Saudi residents of Al-Adel district detaining a vehicle of the SEC to protest against the frequent power outages in their area.
The power outages are affecting both Saudi citizens and expats who have to fast in the hot weather without electricity. At the same time, the duration of the fasts this Ramadan is longer, lasting for over 15 hours in the first two days of the holy month. However, the time will gradually decrease as the month progresses with the fasting hours lasting for around 14 hours and 40 minutes toward the end of the month.
Temperatures are also expected to rise above 48 degrees Celsius in the Kingdom during Ramadan. The holy cities of Makkah and Madinah are expected to record the highest temperature levels besides the Eastern Province, Yanbu and Riyadh. The coastal city of Jeddah recorded 70 percent humidity on the first day of Ramadan, the highest in the Kingdom, with residents sweating it out in open areas and Madinah recording the highest temperature.
Earlier, Naif Al-Abadi director general of the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center (SEEC), warned against the alarmingly high rate of energy consumption in the Kingdom.
He said the per capita consumption of electricity in Saudi Arabia was three times higher than the world average. He attributed the unbridled consumption of power to the cheap cost of electricity in the Kingdom.