Electricity rates may rise before May 20: MOEA

By Camaron Kao ,The China Post

Minister Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) stated yesterday that it is likely the price of electricity will rise before May 20.

According to Bureau of Energy (BOE) Director-General Jerry Ou (歐嘉瑞), the committee of electricity and gas prices will be held on April 11. When Shih approves the results, he will immediately announce the result in a press conference. The new price will take effect one month after Shih’s announcement, which is in accordance with the law, stated Ou. The MOEA is expected to come to a conclusion quickly because it has considered all possible outcomes, said Ou. Thus, it is likely the new price of electricity will be implemented before May 20, stated Ou.

Detail Plan Outlined by The BOE According to Ou, for families that consume less than 120 kilowatts of electricity a month — about 29 percent of families, or 3.25 million families in Taiwan — there will be no rise in the cost of electricity. In terms of families consuming 121 to 330 kilowatts a month — about 67 percent of families or 7.56 million families in Taiwan — the price of electricity will rise by less than 10 percent, Ou said. These families will spend NT$87 more a month on electricity, the BOE calculated. Families that use more than 330 and less than 700 kilowatts of electricity a month will be subject to a price increase of more than 10 percent, the director-general said. For those families using more than 700 kilowatts of electricity a month — about 7 percent of families in Taiwan — the price of electricity will rise by more than 21 percent, stated Ou. Families in Taiwan on average consume 350 kilowatts a month, according to the government data. The BOE estimated that families using 330 to 350 kilowatts of electricity a month will spend NT$100 more in that same period. On average, electricity prices for households will increase by 10 percent, said BOE. Electricity prices for businesses will rise by between 10 and over 20 percent, according to the BOE. Taking into account the ability of small businesses to bear the rise of electricity price, the BOE stated that in terms of low voltage electricity, which is commonly used by small business, the increase in price will be lower than that for high voltage electricity. The cost of electricity for industries is expected to increase by 20 percent to possibly more than 30 percent, said Ou. According to the Taiwan Power Company (台電公司), the state-run firm will suffer a loss of NT$100 billion (US$3.33 billion) before taxes in 2012 if the price of electricity does not increase.