Power price hike
Three utilities seek over 50pc hike in retail priceStaff Correspondent
Power utility agencies sought on Sunday to raise retail rates of electricity by more than 50 per cent, officials said.
The Dhaka Power Distribution Company, Dhaka Electric Supply Company and West Zone Power Distribution Company sent proposals to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission in order to increase electricity prices for different groups of consumers.
Officials said that the five state-run power utilities agencies had decided to seek the increase based on a Power Development Board proposal which sought to increase the bulk rate of power by 50 per cent with effect from July 1.
The power board would again seek to raise the bulk rate of electricity by five per cent more, they said.
Managing director of the DPDC Mohammad Nazrul Hasan said that the agency sent its proposal on Sunday afternoon.
According to the proposal, DPDC wanted to raise the retail electricity price by 53.73 per cent on average, whilst DESCO wanted around 50 per cent and WZPDC wanted a 56.86 per cent hike.
Officials of the Power Development Board and Rural Electrification Board told New Age that they would send their proposals to the energy commission in a day or two.
A power board official said that they want to raise the retail electricity price ranging between 55 and 57 per cent for their consumers.
The REB now gives Tk 0.42 in subsidy on a unit, REB chairman Moin Uddin said.
He added that the difference would need to be adjusted with the fresh increase in the bulk rate of power.
On June 9, the Power Development Board proposed the bulk rate increase by 50 per cent to sell power on average for Tk 6.03 a kilowatt-hour (unit) to distribution agencies in order to minimise its growing expenditure in buying power from fuel oil-fired rental plants. The power board now sells bulk electricity for Tk 4.02 a unit.
The commission later asked the utilities agencies to submit their proposals for the retail rate increase based on the power board proposal so that the commission could set both the bulk and retail prices at the same time.
The energy commission will increase prices after holding a public hearing, a BERC official said.
The agencies proposed different rates for the same consumer groups although the commission in March asked them to submit their proposals for setting the same retail tariff for different groups of consumers.
The energy commission increased the bulk power prices in five phases by 69.6 per cent on an average since February 2011, from Tk 2.37 a unit to Tk 4.02 a unit and at the same time the retail price was increased by 33 per cent on an average, from Tk 4.0 a unit to Tk 5.32 a unit.
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