Power tariff capped at B4.20 a unit

Power tariff capped at B4.20 a unit

Energy regulator reduces variable charge to bring rate in line with what government wants

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has confirmed a decision to cap power tariffs at 4.20 baht per unit of electricity from this month until the end of April.

The rate is based on a decision to lower the fuel tariff (FT), a variable in the power tariff structure, by 50 satang to 0.3972 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit), ERC secretary-general Khomgrich Tantravanich said on Wednesday.

Electricity generation depends mainly on natural gas which accounts for almost 60% of the fuel used, followed by imported and domestic coal at 20-22%.

The FT charge, based on prevailing fuel prices, currency exchange rates and other variables, is reviewed every four months.

At present the government offers a subsidised power tariff of 3.99 baht per unit for households whose consumption does not exceed 300 units per month.

The government has yet to approve the 4.20-baht tariff proposed by the ERC.

The ERC said earlier that it planned to increase the power tariff to 4.68 baht for the January-April period because of a projected increase in fuel costs and the need to reimburse the state-operated Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat).

Egat shouldered huge losses after it subsidised electricity bills between September 2021 and May 2023, under a government programme to ease the impact of higher fuel prices on households and businesses.

If the power tariff is capped at 4.20 baht a unit, Egat said it would have a liquidity problem, meaning it would take longer to pay down its debt.

The government has yet to outline how it intends to help Egat resolve its problems.

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