Investors restore electricity, for a price


A group of investors have restored electricity to neighborhoods in Jeddah through purchasing private generators and charging residents exorbitant rates in the absence of electricity from the municipality.

Abdul Ali Al-Thubaiti, electricity director, deplored the move, saying the local electricity company has no role in the matter, and maintaining that providing electricity without the expertise of the municipality and Civil Defense is a huge fire hazard.

“Anyone dealing with electricity should have a permit from the electricity organization, which is impossible to acquire, thus making them violators,” he said.

“We are committed to ensuring that everyone has electricity. Giving electricity to neighbors, whether for free or for high prices, is a violation. Our company conducts field visits to make sure no one is marginalizing the company’s role in ensuring electricity in every household.”

Abdulaziz Al-Ghamidi, Jeddah Municipality spokesman, concurred that dealing with electricity without the help of the Civil Defense is a risky business.

One resident hit back at these warnings.

“Electricity is an absolute necessity,” he said. “We have no choice but to live off the charity of our neighbors when the local electricity company has failed to provide us with a basic need.”

“When our neighbors have guests over, we switch off our lights and air conditioners to ensure a strong supply or end up paying huge amounts of money for electric generators bought by investors to guarantee electricity.”

“We live in darkness and our houses are almost deserted,” said one resident. “We can’t have people over and our children can’t watch television. We have no choice but to pay greedy investors for expensive electricity. If this is a violation, give us a legal alternative and don’t leave us ‘in the dark.’”

“We connect electricity to houses, not just to make profits, but to help people in need,” said Anwar Mohammad, a Pakistani worker with one of the leasers.

“The cost per month varies and we have not been penalized so far, meaning we are not in violation of any rules.”


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