Consumers to pay 5.3% more for power from March

|| Published: 2020-02-27 16:23:07 || Updated: 2020-02-27 16:23:07

Residential consumers will have to pay an extra Tk17.50 to Tk468 for electricity

Electricity cost of a medium industry that uses 15,000 to 2.01 lakh kilowatt-hour of electricity each month will cross Tk16.78 lakh to Tk17.67 lakh from March.

Also, the residential consumers will have to pay an extra Tk17.50 to Tk468 as the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Berc) increased electricity prices by 5.3 percent at the retail level on Thursday.

Berc hiked the wholesale prices of power by 8.4 percent to Tk5.17 per unit. The cost of power transmission or wheeling charge has also been increased by 5.3 percent to Tk0.29 per unit.

Berc Chairman Md Abdul Jalil announced the prices, which will be effective from March this year, during a press conference at his office in Dhaka on Thursday.

However, the commission kept a provision of Tk3,600 crore of subsidies for the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) while hiking the price.

This is the 10th electricity price hike order since 2010 when the bulk power price was Tk2.5 per kilowatt-hour.

With the latest price hike, the electricity price increases by 128 percent in the last decade. Justifying the hike, the Berc chairman said the commission raised this price considering all the indicators of economic growth.

“We are happy with the new tariff rate and hope that it will not affect the users,” said Abul Jalil.

The commission directed the BPDB not to extend its contracts with the oil-fired rental and quick rental power plants once the electricity purchase contracts expire, he added.

“We have also asked them not to award new oil-based power plants in the areas where gas is available.”

Berc’s move is based on a BPDB proposal tabled on October 15 last year. The power board wanted Berc’s consent to increase the bulk tariff by 23.27 percent to cover its operational deficit.

The BPDB argued that power generation had become costlier as its primary fuel gas’ tariff was increased by 41 percent earlier.

Also, the power board spent around $1billion on capacity charges – the penalty for keeping private power plants idle. As the nation now has surplus electricity, these plants are being kept idle.

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