Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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CEB to increase electricity tariff by 56% for the 3rd time this year 

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has decided to seek public opinion regarding the revision of electricity tariffs proposed by the Ceylon Electricity Board for 2023.

A statement, issued by the utility regulator said in accordance with Section 30 of the Electricity Act No. 20 of 2009, the PUCSL has decided to seek public opinion (stakeholder consultation) regarding the revision of electricity tariffs proposed by the distribution licensee (Ceylon Electricity Board) for the year 2023.

Accordingly, written comments and suggestions from the public and other stakeholders regarding the proposed 3rd electricity tariff revision for 2023 will be accepted until October 18, 2023.

The oral stakeholder consultation on the matter will be held on 18th October 2023 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo.

In the wake of the  the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) approval to increase electricity tariffs, the Electricity Consumers’ Association (ECA) has claimed that the CEB is preparing to increase electricity tariffs by 56%.

The CEB reported to have been proposed a 3.15% reduction in the electricity tariff for the period from July to December, 2023, but that the PUCSL had reduced the tariff by about 14.2%, curtailing a considerable amount of the allowed expenditure (approximately Rs. 33 billion) for the operations of the CEB for 2023.

“The total projected revenue anticipated from electricity sales from CEB customers amounts to Rs. 600.67 billion (Bn) (with the other incomes of the CEB, it is Rs. 612.74 billion).

Based on the revised generation dispatch, the aggregate expenditure for the year has been adjusted to Rs. 645.25 billion. Consequently, a deficit in revenue of Rs. 32.51 billion is anticipated by the end of the year 2023 (with the other incomes), if the existing tariff rates persist,” the association revealed.

Commenting on the CEB’s preparations to increase electricity tariffs, the ECA Chairman Sanjeewa Dhammika claimed that the CEB was preparing to hike tariffs by 56%. “Three tariff revisions have been made from August 2022, to date. If another revision is made in the coming months, electricity tariffs have been increased by 200% within the course of one year.

 The CEB and the Power and Energy Minister cannot revise electricity tariffs whenever they want. Only two tariff revisions can be made per year with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers. Therefore, it is wrong for the CEB even to propose a tariff revision in this manner.”

The PUCSL had approved an overall 14.2% electricity tariff reduction with effect from 3 July 2023.

The revision reduced the electricity tariffs of the category that consumes zero-30 units by 65%, 31-60 units by 51.5%, and 61-90 by 24.5%, and tariffs of the hotel sector by 26.3%, the industry category by 9%, commercial buildings by 5%, and religious places by an overall percentage of 16%.

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