Complaints of soaring power bills prompt ministry to offer money-saving tips
Complaints of skyrocketing electricity bills in April have prompted the Energy Ministry to clarify the bill structure and offer tips to save money.
Pisut Painmanakul, secretary to the energy minister, explained that hot weather and high fuel prices were behind the rising bills.
He pointed out that April, Thailand’s hottest month of the year, brings increased electricity consumption by air conditioners.
Air conditioners use an extra 15% of electricity for every 6C rise in temperature, he said.
"Thailand's average temperature in April rose from 37.2C last year to 44.6C this year," he said, adding that the heat level was unprecedented.
Household electricity bills are calculated based on consumption multiplied by the unit tariff, which from January to April this year was 4.72 baht, he added.
"To put it simply, electricity consumption increases when temperature rises," he said.
Pisut said the rising fuel price had also driven up the cost of producing electricity.
"Production cost accounts for 60% of the electricity bill," he said, adding that the cost of fuel used to produce electricity now stands at 2.74 baht per unit.
A decline in domestic natural gas had also forced Thailand to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from overseas, raising electricity production costs further.
The price of LNG is volatile due to the Russia-Ukraine war and depreciation of the baht to 38 baht per dollar, he added.
Pisut said the government has implemented measures to mitigate impacts on electricity customers who used no more than 300 units per month.
Households that use no more than 150 units per month get a 100% discount on the fuel tariff (Ft), while those that use 150-300 units get a 75% discount. The discount is set at 0.9204 baht per unit.
He said the measure helped 80% of electricity users nationwide, but fewer households received a discount in April as their electricity usage exceeded the limit.
Pisut also advised people to use the following four measures to save electricity:
- Switch off unnecessary lights
- Adjust the air conditioner temperature to 25C
- Unplug unused electric appliances
- Change old appliances to new ones
"These are simple principles to save electricity and reduce electricity bills," he said.