Electricity bills will increase in summer, warns Taipower Co.

By John Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — As temperatures rise around the island, Taiwan Power Company (Taipower, �x�q,) is set to hike electricity prices in June, resulting in a couple-of-hundred-dollars increase in utility prices on a monthly basis. Indoor fans and air conditioners were in full operation as temperatures reached above 30 degrees Celsius in multiple locations yesterday. As a result, the electricity reserve margin, which is the generating capacity available to meet short-term demand, was estimated to dip to an alarmingly low 5.52 percent, said Taipower. With the change in temperatures, a different set of electricity prices are applied every year between June and September.

For households that use 330 kilowatts a month, they have been charged NT$735 up until now, but in the summer, they will have to pay NT$800 a month, a NT$65 difference. For households that use 500 kilowatts a month, they are now paying NT$1,296, but their electricity bills will increase by NT$184 to NT$1,480 in the following months. Summer Electricity Rates Under the summer-months formula, households that use 120 kilowatts or less a month will still be charged the same rate as in non-summer months, at NT$1.89 per kilowatt. Homes that consume between 121 and 330 kilowatts will be charged NT$2.73 per kilowatt, up from NT$2.42 in non-summer months.

Households that use between 331 and 500 kilowatts will be charged NT$4 per kilowatt, up from NT$3.30. Families that use between 500 and 700 kilowatts will see the rate increase to NT$5.15 per kilowatt, up from NT$4.24.

Homes that use between 700 and 1,000 kilowatts will be charged NT$5.99 per kilowatt, up from NT$4.90.

Heavy users that consume more than 1,001 kilowatts will see their electricity bills increase based on the NT$6.71-per kilowatt rate, up from NT$5.28. Small merchants such as barber shops, grocery shores and bun storefronts that incur 500 kilowatts in electricity now pay NT$1,373 per month, but will have to pay NT$1,647 in summer months, which is a NT$274 difference. For businesses that use 1,000 kilowatts, their electricity bills will go up to NT$3,898, from NT$3,210 in non-summer months. Rates Lower Than Last Year Nevertheless, utility rates this year are reportedly lower than those in the past. A new formula to calculate electricity charges was drawn up in April, which will be implemented for the first time this year.

For households that use 1,000 kilowatts or less a month, their electricity bills will be 2.8 percent to 10 percent lower compared with those in pervious years. For example, families that use 500 kilowatts had to pay NT$214 more when the summer arrived last year, but they will pay an additional NT$184 this year. Small businesses that use 1,500 kilowatts or less a month will realize a saving of between 12.2 and 22.6 percent, on the other hand.