Thai activists say new electricity charges won’t remedy root causes of excessive costs

A determination by an Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) subcommittee to reduce electricity rates from May to August has been met with reservations from Thai vitality activists and politicians, who argue that the move does not handle the foundation trigger of expensive power payments.
Yesterday, the subcommittee permitted the fuel tariff (Ft) rate adjustment, which considers adjustments in fuel prices and different variables. The full ERC board will vote on the proposal on Monday, Bangkok Post reports.
The instructed adjustment would decrease household electrical energy bills by 1.5%, reducing the speed from 4.seventy seven baht to four.70 baht per kilowatt-hour from May to August. This comes in response to public complaints about hovering electrical energy bills in the course of the scorching summer months.
An nameless Ministry of Energy supply revealed that the ERC panel primarily based its advice on a proposal from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) for a 28-month moratorium on debt repayments.
The Ft, a significant factor in the power tariff, is assessed by the ERC subcommittee each four months. Power tariffs are additionally influenced by money owed owed to Egat, which reported an amassed loss of a hundred and fifty billion baht after subsidising electricity prices from September 2021 to December 2022.
Energy advocate and former Bangkok senator, Rosana Tositrakul, said the costly power payments stem from the expense of liquefied pure gas (LNG) imports. She identified that Egat has bought 70% of its electricity from a non-public company, while producing solely 30%. According to Tositrakul, Egat buys electricity from this personal firm for three to 9 baht per unit, and resells it to the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and Provincial Electricity Authority at 2.75 baht per unit.
Tositrakul argues that if Egat have been to generate more electrical energy, the public would profit from lower charges. She further highlighted that beneath the current contract, the federal government should make availability funds to the private firm, irrespective of whether electricity is generated or not.
This has resulted in a debt of forty billion baht and payments exceeding a hundred billion baht to purchase electrical energy. In Jackpot , Egat has accrued a debt of roughly a hundred and fifty billion baht, which has impacted the Ft price. Tositrakul explains: “When Egat buys costly electricity however sells it at cheap rates, the accumulation of debt follows, and Egat and customers should shoulder the costly costs while the private sector reaps the income.”
As Tositrakul sees it, chopping electrical energy payments from May to August is a temporary solution, and the charges will inevitably enhance again when Egat needs to repay money owed. She added, “No one engages in a policy of buying expensive and promoting low cost. This raises suspicion about alleged irregularities.”

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