FRIDAY, February 23, 2024

Household electricity bills to rise from Sept as fuel tariff surges

Household electricity bills to rise from Sept as fuel tariff surges

Household power bills will rise by 5 baht per unit later this year as fuel tariff (FT) is likely to hit 100 satang per unit, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said on Monday.

ERC said the increase in FT comes from the surge in the import price of liquified natural gas (LNG), which has risen to US$30 per million British thermal units (BTU) from $20 per million BTU.

The commission said it is discussing this issue and will announce the FT for the September to December period later this month or in early August.

“The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand [Egat] is bearing more than 80 billion baht in fuel costs, so ERC may need to reduce this burden by increasing the FT gradually,” ERC said.

It also confirmed that it will prioritise energy stability to ensure that citizens and business operators have uninterrupted electricity.

It said Egat’s move to bear the financial burden for consumers would affect power generation and stability, even though the Cabinet has allowed Egat to borrow 25 billion baht to boost its liquidity.

“If Egat bears the cost without increasing FT, its deficit will rise to 100 billion baht this year,” ERC said.

It also added that it is uncertain about domestic natural gas production due to the change in the concessionaire of the Erawan gas field in the Gulf of Thailand. The Erawan gas field is a key resource for electricity generation in Thailand.

ERC said the new concessionaire has said it would take about two years to bring natural gas production capacity up to a level that is enough to cover power generation for the entire country.

This means power bills will be affected by the rising price of imported LNG for at least two years, ERC said, adding that the cost of electricity will be high from later this year to the whole of next year.

Apart from rising fuel costs, it said the exchange rate will also affect the fuel tariff for the September to December period.