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Higher power tariff from December

The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) on an average raised retail power tariff by 5.3 percent or Tk. 0.35 per unit.

It, however, decided not to raise bulk tariff.

At present, average per unit cost of electricity at the retail level is Tk 6.49. After the increase, it will go up to Tk 6.84 per unit.   

BERC Chairman Monwar Islam announced the decision saying that the new tariff will come into effect from December.

The regulatory body announced its decision at 3 pm on Thursday on power tariff hike proposals placed by different state-owned companies.

BERC chairman also said that the minimum charge of the consumers was withdrawn for which monthly power bill will be reduced of about 3 million “lifeline consumers.” This class of consumers monthly consumes 0-50 units each.

Moreover, he said, retail tariff rate of about 6 million consumers under the Rural Electrification Board (REB) will remain unchanged. As a result, in total, there will be no hike in power tariff of about 38 percent consumers, claimed the regulator boss.

The BERC had last raised the gas and powers tariff in September 2015 by 2.93 percent and 26.29 percent respectively on average at the consumer level.

Under the new tariff structure, the residential consumers of 0-50 units will pay Tk 3.50 per unit while consumers of upto 75 units will pay Tk 4 per unit, consumers of 76-200 units at Tk 5.45 per unit, 201-300 units users will pay Tk 5.70 per unit, 301-400 units users Tk 6.02 per unit, 401-600 unit users Tk 9.30 per unit, and users above 600 units will pay Tk 10.70 per unit from December 2017.  

Explaining the reason for not raising the bulk tariff rate, member of the BERC Mizanur Rahman said a number of adjustments were made in the expense of bulk consumers, which are mainly the power distribution companies that cut their increased expense.

Secondly, about Tk 3600 crore of the government grant or subsidy was expected in the calculation of the bulk consumers which offset their cost enhancement and it does not need to increase the bulk rate, he said.      

The PDB’s per unit revenue requirement was Tk 5.44 against the existing average bulk tariff of Tk 4.84 per unit.

Mizan also said the government does not need to increase power tariff even if the costly imported LNG was supplied to the power plants as at that situation some dual fuel plants will run on imported gas, not by liquid fuel.

He also admitted that if the government reduces the liquid fuel price, than it will give a scope to reduce the electricity tariff.

Earlier, the Commission held a series of public hearings on their proposals from September 25 to October 5.

It also held a special public hearing on power tariff reduction proposal placed by the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) to reduce the bulk power tariff.

CAB has proposed reducing the bulk tariff price by Tk 1.32 per unit taking different measures and implementing the previous BERC order to ensure the purchase of lowest-cost electricity by Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB).

Earlier, the PDB proposed raising the power tariff by 15 percent per unit at the bulk level.

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