A subcommittee of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Friday approved the adjustment in the fuel tariff (Ft) rate, which reflects changes in fuel costs and other variables, reports the Bangkok Post.
The full ERC board will vote on the proposal on Monday.
The move follows complaints from the public about large spikes in their electricity bills during the hot summer months. They called on the government to act to reduce their energy costs.
A Ministry of Energy source who declined to be named said the ERC panel made its recommendation after the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) proposed a 28-month moratorium on debt repayments.
The Ft, a key element in the power tariff, is reviewed by an ERC subcommittee every four months. Power tariffs are also determined by debts owed to Egat, which posted an accumulated loss of B150 billion after subsidising electricity prices from September 2021 to December 2022.
The subcommittee, which is made up of representatives from various agencies including the Finance Ministry, takes into consideration public debt and requirements for financial discipline when reviewing the rate.
The debt repayments to Egat are unlikely to be postponed further as this would cause liquidity problems for Egat.
About B20bn was repaid to Egat from January to April, the source said.
Authorities are now 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 has fallen to a range of US$11-13 per million British Thermal Units (BTU), from $47 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 last Wednesday (Apr 19).
Electricity bills are charged at a progressive rate, meaning the more electricity a household uses, the more it will be charged.
JohnC | 24 April 2023 - 08:57:16