Electricity charges to increase | Daily News

Electricity charges to increase

All categories to see increase with revision:

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has been allowed to increase the electricity tariff average by 75 percent with effect from this month by Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL).

PUCSL Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said so while addressing media yesterday at the PUCSL yesterday in Colombo.

The new tariff revision will be implemented from today under six categories namely Domestic category, General purpose category, Industry category, Government category, Hotel category and religious category.

“The PUCSL, the regulator of the electricity industry has approved a new electricity tariff revision providing reliefs to domestic electricity consumers. The CEB’s proposal to increase electricity tariffs by 229 percent was rejected, capping off tariff hikes at 75 percent” her said.

According to him, electricity consumers use up to 120 units in domestic sector will be subsidized.

The category with consumption less than 30 units will be charged 25 percent of the cost. They still get 75 percent of the subsidy. Consumers under the category of above 31 units and below 60 units are charged 40 per cent of the total cost. They get a 60 percent of subsidy. Only 50 percent of the actual cost is charged from the category of units above 61 and below 90. A 50 percent of subsidy is also given to that category. Accordingly, 75 percent of the electricity consumers are still being subsidized even with the new tariff revision, he added.

With the new tariff chart issued by the PUCSL a user of 0 to 30 units of the domestic category will receive an approximate monthly bill of Rs.198 while the user of 31 to 60 units will receive Rs.599. The average monthly bill of user of 61 to 90 units will be Rs. 1,461 while it will be Rs. 2,976 of a user of units 91 to 120 units. A domestic user, who use 121 to 18 units will receive an average monthly bill of Rs 5,005. However he highlighted that 50 percent of the price increase for tourism sector will be implemented after three months. A 1.5 percent discount will be given on electricity bill payments in dollars.

Besides, it will be introduced of payment for the net consumption of rooftop solar system instead of fixed payment in order to support the promotion of the rooftop solar

“When setting the electricity tariff, fairness and transparency in electricity charges were considered. Moves will be taken to pay an interest on customer guarantee deposits on electricity connection from October 1,” he added. With the increase of fuel and coal in the world market prices, the cost of generating and distributing a unit of electricity has increased from Rs.16 to Rs.32, he said.

“With the increase in the cost of electricity generation, the Ceylon Electricity Board had submitted 2 proposals to the PUCSL to increase the tariffs by 183 per cent and 220 per cent. Both these proposals were not approved. I would like to point out that we have taken steps to increase a reasonable tariff rate instead. As per the provisions of the Sri Lanka Public Utilities Commission Act, we have also sought public inputs before approving the tariffs. The Commission decided to approve a fair electricity tariff, taking all these public and other stakeholder comments into consideration. Although it costs 32 rupees to generate a unit of electricity at present, the entire cost burden is not imposed on electricity consumers to protect the majority of consumers in the domestic sector,” he said.

Steps have also been taken to encourage electricity consumers to promote renewable electricity generation with the tariff revision decision. During the public consultation on the tariff revision, the users of solar systems pointed out that charging a monthly fee on their overall consumption is unfair.

Accordingly, the PUCSL decided that the fixed charges should be determined on the basis of net consumption after deducting the amount of electricity units generated from their total consumption. With that decision being implemented, the electricity consumers who own solar power systems do not have to pay a monthly fixed fee if they generate electricity more than the consumption, he added.

The new tariff revision has been prepared to provide relief to the hotel sector and the industrial sector, he said.

“During the last 9 years, the value of the dollar has increased by 190 percent. Therefore, the industries in the export sector will not be greatly affected by this electricity tariff revision. Instead of the 116 percent tariff increase proposed by the Ceylon Electricity Board for industries, hotels and general-purpose sectors with low electricity consumption will get an approved tariff increase of 39 percent for the public sector and a 75 percent for the industrial sector.

Only 50 percent of the increase in the approved rates, especially for the tourism sector, will come into effect on 10th of August 2022. The remaining 50 percent tariff increase will come into effect after another three months as an incentive and relief, facilitating the tourism industry to recover. In addition, it has been decided to provide a 1.5 percent discount when electricity bills are paid in dollars as a relief to the tourism and export industries.” he said.

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