Agencies face budget cuts if power bills rise
The cabinet Tuesday told state agencies to get serious about saving energy, or face budget cuts.
- Published: 20/02/2013 at 01:12 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
State agencies will have their budgets for the next fiscal year cut if their power bills rise by more than 15 per cent on last year, ministers decided.
Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal last week warned that Thailand could face an energy shortage when Myanmar reduces its gas production in April for annual maintenance work.
Mr Pongsak said the maintenance on Myanmar's Yadana gas field on April 4-12 will affect Thailand's electricity-generating capability of about 6,000 MW. The gas field supplies a quarter of Thailand's gas, which in turn makes up 70 per cent of the country's total energy needs.
He said the government will ask Myanmar to postpone the work so it falls during the Songkran holidays, when demand for power is lower than usual.
Mr Pongsak said peak demand has increased from 26,700 MW in April last year to a projected 27,000 MW this year.
The ministry planned to use bunker oil and diesel to generate 4,100 MW during the shortage period. Another 1,900MW will be created by hydro power.
Government spokesman Tossaporn Serirak said the government planned to cut power consumption by state agencies by 10 per cent this year. Agencies where power use exceeded 15 per cent would have their budgets cut next year.
He said the cabinet has requested state agencies to reduce the use of air-conditioners and elevators.
Air-conditioner temperatures must be kept at 25-26 degrees while elevators should be set to stop every two floors rather than every floor. Car pools and stricter speed limits will be promoted.
"Cabinet members will set an example by taking off their jackets during meetings," he said.
The cabinet Tuesday extended for another month a reduction of 0.005 baht a litre in the excise tax for diesel.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said government agencies and the public had to start saving energy at once.
About the author
- Writer: Chatrudee Theparat & Pradit Ruangdit