THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has decided to increase the fuel tariff (FT) rate to 1.39 satang per per kilowatt-hour (unit) during the first four months of next year leading to average electricity rate of 3.78 baht per unit, or a 4.63 percent increase from the current period., Thai Rath newspaper said. This afternoon (Nov. 19).
ERC Secretary-General Khomgrich Tantravanich said this adjustment was necessitated by the depreciation of the Thai baht, import of hydropower declining seasonally and power generation from lignite decreasing in keeping with the Mae Moh plant being decommissioned.
In addition, the price of natural gas, which is the main fuel for electricity generation, has risen greatly in keeping with the rising oil price in the global market.
There is an increase in the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to replace the declining volume of natural gas in the Gulf of Thailand which is now at the tailend of the concession period.
Khomgrich pointed out that ERC had implemented policies to shield the public from higher cost of living over the past two years by both giving power bill discounts and freezing the FT rate. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has now eased with both global and local economies beginning to recover.
Where the outlook for 2022 is concerned, with the exchange rate forecast to be at 32.1 baht to the dollar and average global oil price expected to dip to US$70 per barrel, plus using oil to replace the more expensive Spot LGN to reduce the impact on the electricity rate, still leads to FT rising by 7.18 satang, or an increase of 22.50 satang, which has a huge impact on users.
ERC has therefore considered ways to reduce this impact throughout next year by gradually increasing the FT in a staggered manner.
During January – April 2022, it will increased by 16.71 satang from the current -15.32 satang to 1.39 satang per unit and this will be gradually further increased in future rounds.
A transmission tower, top, and a power meter, Home Page. Top photo: Jack Baty (CC BY-SA 2.0), Home Page photo: Siam Rath