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COST OF LIVING/Taipower to raise electricity rates from Monday

03/31/2024 04:24 PM
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CNA photo March 31, 2024
CNA photo March 31, 2024

Taipei, March 31 (CNA) Electricity rates will rise for most consumers in Taiwan from Monday as part of a series of structured hikes determined by the Electricity Tariff Examination Council of the Ministry of Economic Affairs on March 22.

According to current consumption, about 9.08 million households, approximately 68 percent of households, will face a hike of 3 percent, while another 3.42 million (about 26 percent) to face a rise of 5 percent. The remaining households will see 7-10 percent hikes.

During the summer, when regular households consume more electricity, the state-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) said that about two-thirds of Taiwanese households would incur some NT$700 (US$21.88) in monthly electricity costs.

After the rate adjustments, which take effect on April 1, such consumers will see an increase of around NT$21 in their monthly electricity fees, less than NT$1 per day, in the summer, the company said.

The agriculture, and fishery sectors as well as schools and social welfare groups are the only groups whose electricity rates have been frozen.

While hospitals will see their rates rise, the Cabinet decided Friday to subsidize electricity costs for district hospitals, which will be most affected by the rate hike according to the Health and Welfare Ministry.

General industrial users will face rate hikes of 7-14 percent. Data centers will see hikes of 15-25 percent.

Major industrial consumers who saw an average increase in electricity use over the last two years and consume over 0.5 billion kWh per year will face hikes of 15-25 percent.

The hike plan was brought forward as Taipower faces an accumulated deficit of NT$382.6 billion as of the end of 2023.

Without the rate adjustments, the state-run company will incur a further loss of NT$188.7 billion in 2024, according to Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) earlier in the month.

With the rate adjustments and a NT$100 billion subsidy promised by the Cabinet, the anticipated loss is expected to drop to about NT$10 billion, Taipower said.

(By Hsieh Fang-wu and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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