Sri Lanka power regulator’s subsidy calculation flawed: expert

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Apr 05, 2013 (LBO) – The calculation of subsidies to customer categories by Sri Lanka’s power regulator was flawed, as the cost of supply to bulk users was lower than retail and domestic customers who were at the tail end of the grid, a top energy expert has said. “I submit to the commission that the calculation of subsidies in your paper is incorrect,” Tilak Siyambalapitiya, a top energy expert, told a public hearing in Colombo referring to a consultation paper prepared by the regulator on a proposed power tariff hike.

“Because you assume that the cost of supply is equal to all customers. All customers are not located in the same place in the network and therefore there cost of supply has to be accurately calculated.”

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka called a hearing to consult the public on a proposed tariff hike by state-run Ceylon Electricity Board on April 04. Many respondents said a tariff hike was needed by the proposed increase was too high.

They also said CEB was not transparent about costs, generators appeared to be inefficient and both should be independently audited.

Siyambalapitiya who was involved in developing Sri Lanka’s tariff methodology had used available numbers to work out costs. It is not clear why the regulator