New elec­tric­ity tar­iff comes into ef­fect from to­day

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Rinzin Lhamo

The new elec­tric­ity tar­iff for the pe­riod of three years from 1 Jan­uary 2017 to 3o June 2019 will come into ef­fect from to­day.

The ap­proved to­tal cost by Bhutan Elec­tric­ity Au­thor­ity (BEA) for Druk Green Power Cor­po­ra­tion (DGPC) gen­er­a­tion cost and Bhutan Power Cor­po­ra­tion ( BPC) ‘s cost of sup­ply is 2.23 Nu/kWh for high volt­age (HV), 5.38 Nu/kWh for medium volt­age (MV), 5.81 Nu/kWh for low volt­age (LV) and 0.195 for wheel­ing.

How­ever, the an­nual tar­iff for LV of Block I (ru­ral) 0-100kWh and Block I (other) 0-100kWh will re­main the same.

Block II (all) 101-300 kWh, Block III (all) above 300kWh and LV bulk will have an an­nual in­crease of three per­cent from the ex­ist­ing tar­iff, while MV will ex­pe­ri­ence an in­crease of 6.50 per­cent an­nu­ally.

The gov­ern­ment has ap­proved the sub­sidy al­lo­ca­tion of around Nu. 1,772 mil­lion per year to main­tain the an­nual tar­iff in­crease for LV and MV con­sumers.

The per unit sub­sidy to LV and MV con­sumer by the gov­ern­ment from Jan­uary is Nu.5.81 for LV Block I (ru­ral) 100 kWh, Nu.4.5 for LV Block I (oth­ers) 100 kWh, Nu.3.29 for LV Block II (all) >100-300 units, Nu.2.48 for LV Block III(all) >300 kWh , Nu. 2.02 for LV bulk and Nu. 1.77 for MV.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween the gov­ern­ment sub­sidy and BEA ap­proved to­tal cost of sup­ply shall be im­posed on the peo­ple as elec­tric­ity tar­iff.

When 100 units of elec­tric­ity are free for peo­ple liv­ing in ru­ral area, the gov­ern­ment has to pay an amount of 5.81 Nu/kWh to BPC.

Ar­ti­cle 7.15(3) of Do­mes­tic Elec­tric­ity Tar­iff Pol­icy 2016, states that the ru­ral do­mes­tic house­holds shall be pro­vided ad­di­tional sub­sidy with ob­jec­tives to en­hance the liv­ing stan­dards, curb ru­ral to ur­ban mi­gra­tion, con­serve the en­vi­ron­ment, re­duce fos­sil fuel con­sump­tion and pro­mote in­come gen­er­at­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Sam­drup K Thin­ley, CEO of BEA, said that in a cal­cu­la­tion of four peo­ple in a fam­ily us­ing a rice cooker, a boiler, a tele­vi­sion set, and a mo­bile phone charger and around 4 to 5 bulbs of 100 units is enough for a month.

In the ur­ban ar­eas, peo­ple who con­sume 0-100 units in a month will have to pay 5.81 Nu/kWh in­stead of 1.28 Nu/kWh if there is no in­jec­tion of sub­sidy from the gov­ern­ment.

Un­like LV and MV, HV does not have sub­sidy from the gov­ern­ment.

Ar­ti­cle 7.15(5) of Do­mes­tic Elec­tric­ity Tar­iff Pol­icy 2016, states that high volt­age in­dus­tries shall not be el­i­gi­ble for sub­sidy.

The ar­ti­cle also states that tar­iff shall be made af­ford­able to im­prove the liv­ing stan­dards of the peo­ple through ra­tio­nal­ized and tar­geted sub­sidy mech­a­nism.

The CEO said BEA ap­proves the to­tal cost of sup­ply but it is very high so, if gov­ern­ment does not sub­si­dize the tar­iff, peo­ple can­not pay the tar­iff ap­proved by them. He added that DGPC and BPC will be in loss and will not be able to pay the div­i­dend to the gov­ern­ment if tar­iff is lower than the ap­proved to­tal cost.

He also said that if peo­ple fol­low the ap­proved to­tal cost by BEA, in LV, for 100 units peo­ple have to pay around Nu.581. But peo­ple usu­ally con­sume about 300 units in a month and that will cost around Nu.1,500, which is very high. So, to make elec­tric­ity af­ford­able gov­ern­ment is in­ject­ing sub­sidy, he added.

LV means volt­ages of 0.230kV/0.415kV and MV means volt­ages of 6.6kV/11kV/33kV.

The ap­proval of to­tal cost of sup­ply by BEA was based on the com­pre­hen­sive re­view of DGPC and BPC pro­posal and com­ments re­ceived dur­ing the pub­lic hear­ing held on 9 June.

Big in­dus­tries like those in Pasakha fall un­der HV cat­e­gory while smaller in­dus­tries falls un­der MV and the use of elec­tric­ity in home, schools and monas­ter­ies falls un­der LV.

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