Sri Lanka power regulator’s subsidy calculation flawed: expert

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