Electricity rates to be reduced by 3.34 percent from next month

Incandescent light bulb

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has proposed to reduce the electricity tariff by 3.34 percent from February 1 after it recorded a profit last year following a long lapse of nine years.

In its quarterly Electricity Tariff Revision (January – March) proposal addressed to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) on Friday, it sought regulatory approval to reduce tariffs as it estimated a surplus of Rs. 23.73 billion (23,730.9 million) this year.

Accordingly, those domestic electricity consumers in the 0 – 30 kWh bracket and are currently paying Rs. 180 will see a decrease of Rs. 15, while those who are on 91 – 120 kWh will see a reduction of Rs. 60 from Rs. 1,180 to Rs. 1,120.

However, as per CEB statutory accounts, the total accumulated financial losses incurred from 2013 to 2023 are Rs. 388.3 billion. Despite CEB managing to service debt repayments for solar power producers and material supplies after tariff revisions, the accumulated total major payable balance stood at Rs. 443 billion as of December 31 last year.

Though the CEB made profits after the lapse of nine years, “it is noteworthy to see that the CEB is still in an extremely difficult position to serve the accumulated debt payments despite tariff increases,” the CEB’s Acting General Manager, Eng (Dr). Narendra De Silva, said in the proposal.

The new tariff proposal has been prepared considering a relief to low-income vulnerable groups and the entities of economically important businesses based on the policy instructions of the Ministry of Power and Energy.

The CEB analysis of past sales also indicated that the economic crisis has negatively impacted the consumption of electricity in the country compared with the previous year. The prediction for electricity demand growth in 2024 would be about 4 percent higher than last year.

(Source: The Sunday Times)