Power stakeholders to use their rights to deter price hike
Sri Lankans are to face a shock again caused by the Energy Ministry’s move in collaboration with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to raise electricity tariff by 65 per cent this month within four months of the previous 75 per cent price increase in August 2022.
The CEB estimates a cost of Rs. 56.90 per unit of electricity if consumers are to receive an uninterrupted power supply. However, the current average tariff is fixed at Rs.29.14.
The Energy Ministry and the CEB have justified the proposal submitted to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) for another tariff hike since even under the current tariff rate the CEB has to incur a loss of around Rs. 423.5 billion in 2023.
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the ministry last week for a revision of electricity tariffs according to a cost-reflective pricing formula.
Thereafter the PUCSL has decided to hold a stakeholder consultation on the proposed electricity tariff revision 2023. This decision has been taken by the PUCSL after receiving CEB submissions on total costs of power generating energy sources without profits and costs of administration, evaporation, and other such costs.
A final decision will be taken following an evaluation and public consultation on the CEB proposal for the electricity tariff revision, Energy Ministry sources revealed.
According to financial records of the CEB, the revenue increase due to the tariff hike was sufficient to meet the expenditure including generation costs, salary payments, maintenance charges and other overheads of the CEB during the past four months.
However the CEB submissions on financial estimates indicate a massive loss of Rs. 423.5 billion in 2023.
The CEB has a massive outstanding bill of Rs. 108 billion for fuel purchased from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) up to now, a CPC official said adding that it has no money for the procurement of crude oil to run the Sapugaskanda oil refinery.
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