Electricity rates to rise by over 3%, small users unaffected

Taipei, State-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) is to raise electricity rates by an average of 3 percent, or NT$0.0765 (US$0.0026) per kilowatt-hour (kWh), with effect from April 1, although 80 percent of users will not be affected.

The ministry's electricity price review committee announced Friday that starting next month, electricity rates will be raised by 3 percent to NT$2.6253 per kWh, but households that use less than 500 kWh and small businesses that use less than 1,500 kWh per month will not have their electricity rates increased. That means that more than 80 percent of users will remain unaffected by the rate hike.

Describing the 3 percent hike as moderate, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (???) said Sunday that the rate adjustment will not affect small businesses and will only drive inflation up by 0.08 percent.

In response to concerns that the large industrial consumers who are subject to the rate hike might raise their prices due to increased electricity costs, Shen said that the hike of about 3.5 percent for big industrial users is reasonably moderate and added that some businesses have said an increase of around 3 percent is acceptable to them.

Under the new scheme, big household, business and industrial users are expected to shoulder an average 3.45 percent increase in their electricity bills.

Based on the 3.45 percent hike rate, households in which usage falls between 501-700 kWh per month will see their bills increase by NT$3.92 per kWh, while those using between 701-1,000 kWh will see an increase of NT$4.57 per kWh and NT$5 per kWh for those that use more than 1,001 kWh.

Those that use 1,000 kWh and 2,000 kWh per month will see their monthly electricity payments rise by NT$72 and NT$83, respectively.

Meanwhile, Shen also said the ministry has talked with energy efficiency appliance and electronics suppliers and distributors to come up with measures to promote purchases of such products.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel