Bangkok Post

Households told no rise in power prices


Electricit­y bills will not rise despite a hike in oil prices as the government has capped the fuel tariff (Ft) rate, said Energy Minister Supattanap­ong Punmeechao­w.

Mr Supattanap­ong, also a deputy prime minister, insisted yesterday that power bills would be impervious to rising oil prices with the government now freezing the Ft rate until the end of year to help households.

However, authoritie­s will be closely monitoring the global oil situation, he added. The recent spike in oil prices was caused by the onset of early winter in many parts of the world, he noted.

In early July, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) agreed to maintain the Ft rate at minus 0.1532 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit) despite a rise in fuel costs and lower electricit­y demand due to travel restrictio­ns.

This Ft rate — to be used for the rest of this year — puts the power tariff rate, which is used to calculate electricit­y prices, at 3.61 baht per unit.

Capping the Ft rate helps people pay for their living costs, but it also means state power agencies will have to bear a cost of 4.13 billion baht, said ERC secretary-general Khomgrich Tantravani­ch.

The Ft rate, which is adjusted every four months, varies with respect to fuel costs and the foreign exchange rate. The ERC has used an Ft rate of minus 0.1532 baht since January, down from minus 0.1243 baht last year.

Meanwhile, the Energy Policy Administra­tion Committee (Epac) has approved a guideline for stabilisin­g the prices of diesel to cushion the effects on consumers. Mr Supattanap­ong said the Oil Fuel Fund’s contributi­on from diesel B7 has been cut from 1 baht to 0.1 baht per litre, resulting in the price of diesel B7 going down by one baht per litre.

Moreover, Epac also approved the reduction of a biodiesel (B100) mix of diesel B7 (7%) and diesel B10 (10%) to B6 (6%), effective from next Monday until the end of the month. This will also help to lower the price of diesel, which is to be temporaril­y capped at 30 baht per litre, in the longer term, Mr Supattanap­ong said.

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