Distribution companies seek to hike power tariff at retail level

25 November 2022

Staff Reporter :
Within two days after increasing the price at the wholesale level, the distribution companies are now thinking to increase the price of electricity 15-20 per cent at the consumer level.
Meanwhile, three power distribution companies -- West Zone Power Distribution Company, Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) -- have sent proposals to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) proposing for retail price hike.
According to sources, Northern Electricity Supply Company Limited (NESCO), Dhaka Electricity Supply Company Limited (DESCO) and Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) are in the process to prepare proposals for price hike at consumer level.
The companies will submit their proposals to BERC within a short time.
BERC chairman Abdul Jalil told The New Nation that three proposals have been submitted to the commission's application receiving branch. However, no proposal has reached his office as yet.
A decision will be taken following the existing rules after receiving applications from all distribution companies.
He further said that the commission will take the matter into cognisance if all the information and attached documents are correct.
"A technical assessment committee will be constituted. After filing the committee    report, a public hearing will be held with all the parties. Then the BERC will receive explanation or response after the public hearing. Then the commission will issue its order. It may take at least one to one and a half months," the BERC Chairman said in reply to a query.
Earlier on Monday, the BERC has increased the power tariff at the bulk level by 19.92 per cent. BERC said retail prices will not be affected at the time. Then PDB was the first to submit the request for increase price in the retail level.
BERC sources confirmed that two of the remaining five distribution companies submitted their proposals on Thursday morning.
Sources said that PDB has proposed to increase the price of electricity by an average of Tk 1.47 per unit, while the price increased in the bulk level by Tk 1.03 per unit.
The rest of the distribution companies are also set to submit the price hike proposals. All are likely to apply for an average increase of around 20 per cent.
BERC, the regulatory body for the sector, increased the price of electricity at the bulk level. Taking into consideration the government's subsidy of Tk 170 billion, the price has been increased by an average of 19.92 per cent this time. The price of electricity per unit has increased from Tk 5.17 to now Tk 6.2. It will be effective from December.
Before this, electricity prices have increased nine times in the last 14 years. At this time, electricity prices increased by 118 per cent at the bulk level and 90 per cent at the consumer level.
The last price hike was in February 2020, which took effect from March of that year. At that time, the price was increased by 8.39 per cent at the bulk level. At the same time, prices at the retail level were increased by 5.3 per cent.

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