Thailand Consumers Council (TCC) yesterday, March 21st, submitted a letter to the Energy Minister, urging the Ministry to delay the increase of the fuel tariff (Ft) in the upcoming May-August period.
This followed the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) announcement last week of a power bill rise at 23.38 per unit, starting in May. The previous story coverage can be found here:
Council’s subcommittee member Rosana Tositrakul revealed after the letter submission to Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow that the Council demanded the Ministry to suspend and consider reviewing the Ft hike in May-August which would raise all electricity prices to 4 baht per unit, considered the highest in Thai history.
Rosana said that the problem of high electricity costs in the country was not a result of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war nor the rising natural gas prices as claimed by the government. But, it was rather the planning of electric power production in Thailand which, according to her statement, was excessive power security and likely to be in favor of the investment of the electric power businesses.
She said: “This resulted in the excessive power reserves or overloading of power stations in the system. Currently, Thailand has a total power generation capacity of 46,136.4 megawatts but has the highest electricity usage of only about 30,000 megawatts per year in 2019 – 2021. A reserved capacity was at as high as 50 percent while a suitable backup capacity should only be about 15 percent.”
“The government continued to neglect the excessive power storage and production as they still bought the electricity from two power dams in Laos at a purchase tariff of 2.8432 and 2.9179 baht per unit, which is higher than EGAT’s (Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand) base tariff. And that cost is the burden of the public’s FT.”
Regarding the rise of the electricity bill, the Thai government had suggested the public to limit air conditioning as well as usage of other electric appliances which had triggered criticism from social media and oppositional politicians.
As of yesterday, government spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana disputed the complaints of Thai Srang Thai Party Leader Sudarat Keyuraphan that the suggestion of turning an air-con at 27 degrees Celsius with a fan was practically helpful in terms of saving electricity costs. Full article can be observed here:
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