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PUCSL to announce electric tariff hike after public consultations

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW):The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) is set to announce the new electricity tariff revision following the completion of public consultations at the BMICH in Colombo today, power and energy ministry sources said.

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) in its latest submissions to PUCSL this week has sought its approval for 10 percent electricity tariff increase reversing its previous proposal for 22 percent tariff hike, a high official of the ministry disclosed.

The CEB has informed PUCSL that it needs to continue the electricity bill increase for two years consecutively and the present tariff hike is essential to balance their expected revenue and power generation cost for the period of October to December this year.

Chairman of the PUCSL Manjula Fernando said that 30 parties including the Ceylon Electricity Board will be consulted during public consultations.

CEB Chairman Nalinda Ilangakoon said the CEB currently incurs an operating loss of 22percent adding that proposals to settle this were submitted to the PUCSL

The PUCSL has informed the Ceylon Electricity Board that the data presented by the CEB to increase the electricity tariffs is not in line with Sri Lanka’s state of affairs.

According to CEB monthly financial statements the income of the power utility in the months of July, August and September in 2023 has dropped by Rs 4573 billion.

CEB revenue of Rs. 55,163 million in July has dropped to Rs 53, 193 in August and it has further come down to Rs 50, 590 million in September.

Under this circumstance the the board has no option other than an impose a 22 percent traif hike or levy Rs 8 from each and every slab of electricity bill payment of consumers, CEB disclosed.

The PUCSL has informed the CEB to submit a revised tariff submission considering the latest available data before Wednesday (18) due to certain deviations in the assumptions made by CEB in its tariff revision submissions.

In a letter addressed to the CEB’s General Manager, the Director General of the PUCSL states that with regard to the increase in demand, the CEB has forecasted demand of 44.70 GWh/day for September 2023 and 42.88 GWh/day on average for Oct-Dec 2023.

However, actual generation demand of September 2023 is 41.01 GWh/day and October 2023 is 41.30 GWh/day, he claimed.

He noted that “Therefore, assumed demand in the CEB proposal can not be substantiated with latest data.”

Regarding depleted hydropower, the CEB forecasted a starting hydro storage for October 2023 of 503 GWh and for November 2023 635 GWh.

As at today hydro storage is 668 GWh, and Inflow for Oct 1 to Oct 12, 2023 is 314 GWh which exceeds the estimates by considerable margin, he emphasized.

The PUCSL further noted that for Oct-Dec 2023, the CEB has forecasted a total coal dispatch of 1,444 GWh in May 15, 2023 submission and 1,334 GWh in Sep 4, 2023 submission.

However, the Commission says it envisages a drop in demand higher than the drop of coal dispatch.

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