Sri Lanka home electricity use moderates after price hikes

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Despite an increase in the number of electricity consumers in Sri Lanka, sales to domestic customers rose only marginally last year owing to sharp price hikes previously and energy conservation measures.

Total electricity generation of the state-owned power utility, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), in 2014 increased by 3.9 percent to 12,357 Giga Watt hours from 11,898 GWh in 2013.

Electricity sales of the state-owned power utility, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), increased by 4.2 percent to 11,063 Giga Watt hours in 2014 from 10,621 GWh in 2013, official data showed.

Sales to the ‘industry’ category that absorbed 33.9 percent of total electricity sales increased by 4.5 percent in 2014.

Sales to the ‘hotel’ and ‘general purposes’ categories, which account for 2.2 percent and 24.8 percent of sales, also increased 11.1 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.

But the increase in electricity consumption in the ‘domestic’ category that absorbs 36.5 percent of electricity sales was marginal at 1.1 percent, the Central Bank has noted in its annual report for 2014.

This was despite the increase in the number of consumers by 3.7 percent.

The central bank attributed the slow growth in electricity sales to “continued energy
conservation practices adopted by households and corporates in response to the substantial upward revisions to the electricity tariff in 2013 and lower energy intensity of growing sectors of the economy.”

Electricity tariffs that were raised substantially in 2013, were cut in 2014 following the commissioning of the second phase of the Norochcholai coal power plant.

The electricity tariff for the ‘domestic’ category was reduced by around 25 percent from 16 September 2014 and other categories in November 2014.

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