BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- China will launch a multi-tier pricing mechanism for household natural gas before the end of 2015, said the country's pricing watchdog on Friday.
Under the new mechanism, residential natural gas price will rise as consumption above the base amount increases, according to a statement by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The mechanism will have three tiers. The benchmark tier will take into account the average consumption of about 80 percent of households. Consumption beyond the benchmark will be charged at 20 percent to 50 percent higher accordingly.
Less than 5 percent of households have been using nearly 20 percent of the natural gas, and on the other hand the government has been subsidizing household natural gas to keep it cheap, said Xu Shaoshi, head of the NDRC.
China's natural gas resources per capita are less than 10 percent of the world's average, while about 30 percent of its consumption last year was imported, according to Xu.
The new move aims to make the household gas pricing system more just and encourage energy saving, he said.