Keeping promise to cut electricity bills could be tough for new govt

TUESDAY, MAY 16, 2023

The Move Forward Party (MFP)-led government could find it difficult to honour its promise of reducing people's electricity bills, two top executives from the energy sector said on Tuesday.

To reduce the monthly electricity bill by at least 150 baht per household, Move Forward had promised to help households set up solar roofs, reduce payments due to non-operating power plants and amend contracts with large power producers.

Sakarin Tangkavachirano, chief power business development officer of Ratch Group, said Move Forward should look into the details in each contract on what it can and cannot do.

He said delaying investment in ongoing contracts could pose risks to Thailand's energy security.

For instance, a delay in the investment of a power plant could trigger volatility in electricity cost and production capacity, he explained, adding that a crisis like Covid-19 could affect electricity usage expectation.

Scrapping contracts immediately could be hard, he said, adding that many countries have faced difficulties on this issue.

He said Move Forward's policy to promote the use of solar power would be difficult as it is dependent on sunlight.

Meanwhile, Energy Absolute CEO Somphote Ahunai said the newly elected government should tackle power plant construction contracts immediately.

He said the new government should avoid scrapping existing contracts, allow new power producers to enter the market and ensure that such contracts would not burden the people.

There is a solution to this issue, but the previous government did not listen to us, he said, adding that the government should frame a policy to promote the use of clean energy at cheap price.