PUCSL Chair calls for 20-pct price drop in electricity rates


The Chairman of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka Janaka Ratnayake says that the electricity consumers should get a 20 percent tariff reduction based on a slowdown in electricity demand plus the exchange rate and reduced of fuel prices.

“According to the tariff requested by CEB on 5th January this year, CEB had estimated an electricity demand of 16,520 GWh for 2023, expecting a revenue of Rs. 722 billion for CEB, from energy sales.
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But PUCSL forecasted generation demand of 15,031.42 GWh for 2023. Our demand forecast has been proven by actual demand for January to April and reduced demand
forecasted by CEB for the rest of the year, " Janaka Ratnayake, Chairman of Public Utilities Commission says."

"According to CEB’s revised demand forecast, total demand for year 2023 will be 15,377 GWh which is very close to the demand that we forecasted early this year. That was the main rationale in our staff’s tariff recommendation which limited a tariff increase below 35%.”

Ratnayake says that this proves the 35 percent tariff increase suggested by the staff of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka is on par with the actual demand forecast which didn’t materialized due to the majority of the Commission members approved the CEB proposal as it is.

“The latest forecast by CEB shows a reduction of 6 percent from the initial forecast in January (5/1/2023). Actual data shows in months March and April, the actual generation to be 10 percent and 8 percent less than the initial forecast by CEB.
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Accordingly, the latest forecast also on the higher side and actual demand for 2023 can be even lower."

Therefore, Ratnayake adds the actual total revenue of 2023 for the distribution licensees could be lower than Rs. 658 billion, if we were able to implement PUCSL’s staff recommended low tariff hike, we wouldn’t need frequent tariff revisions and such low tariff will ensure and stimulate the economic activities while ensuring CEBs’ yield sufficient revenue.”

“Given all those facts, we demand an immediate reduction of electricity tariff of 20 percent.”

A comparison of demand forecasts for 2023 by PUCSL, CEB in January (5/1/2023), CEB in April (24/4/2023) and actual generations is shown in the graph below.

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