May 9, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Public Utility Commission has set electricity tariffs reverting to an earlier system of charging by slabs, responding consumer comments at a public hearing. The regulator also made no change to users of up to 60 units complying with a speech made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on May Day following a public outcry after the regulator approved tariffs proposed by the power utility almost unchanged.
But the regulator has now struck down a proposal by Ceylon Electricity Board to charge by the highest block rate (volume differentiated tariff) which drew much opposition by consumers who said they had to pay about 1000 rupees for the 91st unit.
The President proposed an increase of the threshold up to 95 units, but the regulator, retaining its independence, said under the CEB’s latest proposal, it will simply push the threshold and create a jump in the bill at 97 units.
There are also changes to users between 60 to 180 units, from the first approved tariff to the May 09 decision, one based on incremental usage.
But users above 180 units will now have to pay very high rates, far above costs of around 20 rupees a unit going as much as 58 rupees a u