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Fuel tariff discount to bring some relief

BANGKOK: The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is expected to announce a reduction in the fuel tariff (Ft) from May to August today (Apr 21), which will bring down the power tariff rate for households to B4.70 per kilowatt-hour unit, from B4.77 per unit.

By Bangkok Post

Friday 21 April 2023, 07:29AM

Electricity meters on Soi Samsen 13 in Dusit district, Bangkok. Photo: Pattanapong Hirunard

Electricity meters on Soi Samsen 13 in Dusit district, Bangkok. Photo: Pattanapong Hirunard

The move follows complaints from people about large spikes in their electricity bills during the summer months. They called on the government to act to reduce their energy costs, reports the Bangkok Post.

Khomgrich Tantravanich, secretary-general of the ERC, said a panel will meet today to review the fuel tariff rate for May to August after the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) proposed a 28-month moratorium on debt repayments.

The Ft - which is determined by fuel costs - is a key element in the power tariff, which is, in turn, used to calculate power bills and is adjusted every four months.

The power tariff is also determined by debts owed to Egat, which posted an accumulated loss of B150 billion after subsidising the price of electricity from September 2021 until December last year.

Mr Khomgrich said the panel, which is made up of representatives from various agencies, including the Finance Ministry, will take into consideration public debt and the country’s financial discipline requirements when reviewing the rate.

If the panel agrees to cut the Ft, the power tariff rate for the next four months will be B4.70 per unit, he said, adding the debt repayments to Egat are unlikely to be postponed further as this would cause liquidity problems for Egat.

About B20bn has been repaid to Egat during January-April, he added.

Kulit Sombatsiri, permanent secretary for energy, said the ministry is considering other steps which could help bring down energy costs after the Budget Bureau and related agencies said there is insufficient budget to subsidise energy costs, estimated at B8bn.

Blue Tree Phuket

Authorities are looking ahead to the September-December period and have asked PTT Plc to consider stockpiling liquefied natural gas (LNG) for electricity generation, as the price of LNG has fallen to US$11-13 (B377-445) per million BTU, from US$47 per million BTU early this year, he said.

He said demand for electricity has soared during the hot season, peaking at 32,212.5 megawatts at 8:44pm on Wednesday.

According to Mr Kulit, electricity bills are charged at a progressive rate, meaning the more electricity a household uses, the more they will be charged.

Political activist Srisuwan Janya lodged a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman yesterday, calling for a fact-finding probe into why electricity bills are surging amid claims that the country has an oversupply of electricity in reserve.

He said the current reserve stands at about 60% of total capacity, while the internationally accepted reserve is at 10-15%.

Such a high reserve increases electricity generating costs, resulting in a higher power tariff, he said.

Mr Srisuwan claimed that Egat’s purchase of electricity from private power plant operators, despite the huge surplus in reserve, is favouring the energy operators at the expense of consumers.

Government spokesman Anucha Buraphachaisri yesterday assured electricity prices would go down once the cost of generating power begins to decrease.

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Hermann1 | 22 April 2023 - 08:09:12

Not sure where Mr.Kakka got those figures from , but they are utter nonsense, Just google it .

Jor12 | 22 April 2023 - 04:59:36

Old Guy... if 100% of the power generated is to be subsidised, who is going to pay for the infrastructure, gas, coal etc? Using your argument, I want my food and clothing free too.

Jor12 | 22 April 2023 - 04:52:49

Kaka...if some 60% of power is generated by natural gas the rest from coal and biomass, what relevance is cheap oil from Myanmar?

Kakka2 | 21 April 2023 - 13:49:53

80% of oil in Thailand come from Myanmar at 1/10 of the world price, so they simply liying... there is a reason why PTT was sanctioned as colluding with Myanmar junta oil producers... and they still doing it at present ..there was a few article on BKK post sometime ago, however version from EU regulator seemed a bit different from what was reported here 

Old guy | 21 April 2023 - 11:51:39

Actually, the Ft money goes directly into the treasuries of authorities. If there was any real concern for people it could be waived 100%. 

Kurt | 21 April 2023 - 10:40:46

***  Opec.

Kurt | 21 April 2023 - 10:38:26

Russian war and production decrease by Opeq ( mainly Saudi Aradia) drives up oil &gas prices all over the world. Energy becomes more expensive. Thailand not excluded. Government must communicate that clear with population.

JohnC | 21 April 2023 - 08:58:55

In other words, EGAT charge whatever rates they choose to and this is all just smoke and mirrors to try and make us think it is beyond their control....


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