Govt plans more relief for low-income earners as power bills expected to rise


The government is considering additional measures to subsidise power bills for low income earners as adjustment of the fuel tariff (FT) in January is expected to make electricity more expensive, Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said on Tuesday.

The FT is adjusted every January, May and September to reflect the uncontrolled cost of electricity generation.

Supattanapong said the government currently offers a subsidy of 0.92 baht per unit for households using less than 300 units of electricity per month. Those who use 301-500 units per month receive 15 to 75 per cent subsidy on their bills.

These subsidies, which run from September to December, are estimated to cost the government 6.8 billion baht in a bid to help alleviate people’s financial burden.

“Power bills are likely to rise even further after the January adjustment, therefore more measures will be rolled out to help people, especially low-income households,” said Supattanapong.

The Energy Regulatory Commission is accepting opinions from the public, entrepreneurs and related agencies to draft the measures, which are expected to become clear early in December, he said.

Supattanapong, who doubles as a deputy prime minister, said recent reports that the gross domestic product in the first three quarters expanded 4.5 per cent is a positive sign the economy is recovering.

In the last month of 2022 and early next year the government would focus on promoting tourism, which will be a major contributor to the economy, he said.

Thailand expects to welcome its 10th million foreign tourist this year – around mid-December – and the achievement will be celebrated, Supattanapong added.