Citizens will not be charged interest on the costs of connecting their houses to the natural gas grid, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

Oil minister Tarek El Molla said that customers will make interest-free payments of EGP 30 each month for a period of six years, which will be added to monthly gas bills.

Houses in upper Egypt and over-populated areas will be prioritized, El Molla added.

Households in 12 cities in eight different governorates were recently connected to the national gas grid as part of the oil ministry’s plan to link 684,000 households across 18 governorates to the gas grid.

Over the long-term the government wants to replace the use of butane cylinders with natural gas. The cost of cylinders were raised in mid-June from EGP 30 to EGP 50 for households, and from EGP 60 to EGP 100 for commercial uses.

Natural gas prices will be increased starting from June 1. All consumption tiers will be increased by EGP 0.075 per cubic meter: rates for up to 30 cubic meters will rise to EGP 0.175, prices for 30-60 cubic meters will increase to EGP 0.250, while customers consuming more than 60 cubic meters will pay EGP 0.300 per cubic meter.