ECONOMYNEXT — One unit of electricity will cost 56 rupees and 90 cents per unit if Sri Lanka’s state-run utility provider is to supply uninterrupted power in 2023, Power & Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara said suggesting that any new tariff structure should reflect this cost across all layers and that low-income groups who cannot afford it be offered a cash transfer.
The minister tweeted on Monday December 05 that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB)’s prevailing average tariff is 29 rupees and 14 cents per unit and there there is a deficit estimated to be around 423.5 billion rupees.
1) CEB Tariff structure – For an uninterrupted power supply for 2023, CEB estimates 1 unit of electricity will cost Rs 56.90. Current avg tariff is at Rs 29.14 & the Deficit is estimated to be Rs 423.5 Billion. There are 6,709,574 domestic consumers according to CEB billing data
— Kanchana Wijesekera (@kanchana_wij) December 5, 2022
Citing billing data, the minister said there are 1,460,828 consumers that consume 0 to 30 units a month at 8 rupees per unit.
Up to 1,683,172 consumers are in the 30 to 60 unit category who pay 10 rupees per unit, while 1,702,515 consumers are in the 60 to 90 category and paying 16 rupees per unit, and 1,559,131 consumers are in the 90 to 180 range paying 50 rupees per unit. In the 180+ category, there are 303,928 consumers paying 75 rupees per unit.
“Lower layers are heavily subsidized and top layer pays over the average cost of a unit to compensate [for] a part of the subsidy. The balance subsidy is borne by the Treasury. My personal opinion is that every layer should be 56.90 rupees per unit and a direct cash allowance [should be paid] for low income families,” the minister tweeted.
Wijesekara did not provide a breakdown of this unit cost, but tweeted later in the day that the government has not proposed a retroactive tariff increase to recover past losses. He was responding to a statement attributed the head of the power regulator commission.