Electricity bills to rise due to gas imports

Electricity bills to rise due to gas imports

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved an increase in electricity bills between September and December, with the power tariff soaring to a record high of 4.72 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit).

The ERC said it planned a higher power tariff for the end of this year though it earlier postponed the announcement, scheduled on Aug 1, following intervention by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who sought to curb rising living costs, said a source at the Energy Ministry.

The ERC said via its Facebook page yesterday that it needs to increase the power tariff as Thailand imports more costly liquefied natural gas (LNG) for power generation. Gas accounts for 60% of the fuels used to produce electricity in the country.

The power tariff, which is made up of the base tariff and fuel tariff, is used to calculate electricity bills. The base tariff refers to the cost of power plants and distribution systems, while the fuel tariff is mainly determined by fuel costs, which are increasing as the Russia-Ukraine war continues.

The ERC said yesterday the fuel tariff will increase to 0.9343 baht per unit, driving up the power tariff to 4.72 baht per unit. The new power tariff will not be subsidised by the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand as its 83-billion-baht subsidy programme will end this month.

Thailand needs to import more LNG as domestic gas supply, which is less expensive, from the Gulf of Thailand has declined. LNG prices in the spot market stand at US$25-50 (887-1,775 baht) per metric million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD), compared with Gulf of Thailand gas, which is priced at $6-7 per MMSCFD.

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