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CEB presents revised proposal for electricity tariff reduction to PUCSL, contrary to Minister’s assertion

February 29, Colombo (LNW): In a recent development, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has presented a revised proposal to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), suggesting that electricity tariffs could potentially be reduced by an average of 14 per cent.

This contrasts with earlier assertions made by the Energy Minister regarding an 18 per cent reduction.

According to the CEB, this reduction in tariffs has been strategically facilitated by measures taken to exercise control over the Central Bank, resulting in substantial financial benefits.

By enhancing the affordability of project loans, the CEB aims to alleviate the burden of financing, thus enabling a reduction in tariffs.

The revised tariff proposal outlined by the CEB aims to provide relief across all customer categories. Notably, adjustments have been made in various operational expenses, including personnel expenses, material costs, maintenance of civil structures, fuel and vehicle maintenance, communication services, retail service costs, and other overheads.

Furthermore, the prevailing economic conditions in the country have influenced workforce availability, particularly in labour-intensive distribution divisions, leading to reductions in certain personnel and material costs.

As the nation approaches the dry season, there is a surge in electricity demand. Scheduled maintenance of hydroelectric machinery during this period is crucial to ensure optimal performance during the subsequent wet season.

Postponing maintenance activities presents challenges in meeting increased demand without resorting to costly plant operations or risking demand management procedures.

Delays in several maintenance and upgrade projects within the Generation Division have necessitated adjustments in disbursements for the year 2024.

Notable projects, such as those at the Victoria Power Plant, Kotmale, Ukuwela, Upper Kotmale, and Bowatanna plants, are either nearing completion or undergoing critical refurbishments aimed at enhancing efficiency and reliability.

At the time of this report, discussions were underway at the PUCSL regarding the decision to announce the proposed electricity tariff revision.

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