Thai activists say new electrical energy charges won’t remedy root causes of excessive prices

A choice by an Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) subcommittee to reduce back electricity rates from May to August has been met with reservations from Thai energy activists and politicians, who argue that the transfer doesn’t address the foundation trigger of pricey energy bills.
Yesterday, the subcommittee accredited the gas tariff (Ft) fee adjustment, which considers changes in gasoline prices and different variables. The full ERC board will vote on the proposal on Monday, Bangkok Post reviews.
The instructed adjustment would lower family electrical energy payments by 1.5%, decreasing the rate from four.77 baht to 4.70 baht per kilowatt-hour from May to August. This comes in response to public complaints about soaring electricity payments in the course of the hot summer months.
An anonymous Ministry of Energy source revealed that the ERC panel based mostly its advice on a proposal from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) for a 28-month moratorium on debt repayments.
The Ft, a significant factor within the energy tariff, is assessed by the ERC subcommittee each four months. Power tariffs are also influenced by money owed owed to Egat, which reported an amassed loss of one hundred fifty billion baht after subsidising electricity prices from September 2021 to December 2022.
Energy advocate and former Bangkok senator, Rosana Tositrakul, mentioned the pricey power payments stem from the expense of liquefied pure gas (LNG) imports. She pointed out that Egat has purchased 70% of its electrical energy from a private firm, whereas generating solely 30%. According to Tositrakul, Egat buys electricity from this private company for 3 to 9 baht per unit, and resells it to the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and Provincial Electricity Authority at 2.75 baht per unit.
Tositrakul argues that if Egat have been to generate more electrical energy, the public would profit from lower rates. She additional highlighted that underneath the current contract, the federal government should make availability payments to the personal company, regardless of whether electricity is generated or not.
This has resulted in a debt of forty billion baht and funds exceeding 100 billion baht to purchase electricity. In total, Egat has accumulated a debt of roughly 150 billion baht, which has impacted the Ft price. Tositrakul explains: “When Egat buys costly electrical energy but sells it at low cost rates, the accumulation of debt follows, and Egat and customers need to shoulder the expensive costs while the personal sector reaps the income.”
As Hidden sees it, chopping electrical energy payments from May to August is a brief solution, and the rates will inevitably increase once more when Egat needs to repay money owed. She added, “No one engages in a policy of shopping for expensive and promoting low cost. This raises suspicion about alleged irregularities.”

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