Venezuela to tax high power use

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he would direct his administration to assess a tax for high consumption of electricity and set subsidies for low usage.

"Those who use energy above a ceiling will have to pay a surcharge. They must pay more. Those who spend less energy, under a minimum limit, will be subsidized and will pay lower rates.

" El Universal quoted Chavez saying.

"There is a world energy crisis, for God's sake, we must understand it! Some people turn on their air conditioners and let them on all night. It's like wasting water day and night," he said.

Chavez said a lack of rainfall to replenish the headwaters of the Caroni River had become "a serious situation that has affected the supply of electricity."

The hydroelectric power station Guri, Venezuela, produces 70 percent of the country's electricity.

"What I mean is that we must all be concerned... everyone has to help save energy," he said.



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