Sri Lanka Public Utilities Commission Chairman Mr. Janaka Rathnayake emphasized that there is a possibility of reducing electricity charges by 27 percent. But the Ceylon Electricity Board has submitted proposals to reduce the charges by only 3 percent while concealing the correct cost data. Chairman of Sri Lanka Public Utilities Commission Mr. Janaka Ratnayake stated that Sri Lanka Electricity Board has been informed to submit the correct data to reduce the electricity charges compared to the actual cost reduction.
“In February this year, the fares were increased by 66 percent based on fake data. At that time, the fees should have been increased by only 35 percent. At that time, we pointed out that the electricity demand of 16,550 gigawatts estimated by the Ceylon Electricity Board was incorrect. Our estimate was that electricity demand this year would be limited to 15,050 gigawatt hours. In April, CEB realized that our estimate was correct and that their demand was overestimated. Accordingly, they informed in writing that the estimated demand for the coming period of the year is 15,264 gigawatt hours.
Mr. Janaka Ratnayak also points out that if electricity tariffs were set and implemented according to his estimates, the situation electricity consumers are facing today would not have arisen.
“Compared to the decrease in electricity demand, the cost of providing electricity should also decrease. The CEB initially estimated an expenditure of 392 billion rupees for the period from July to December 2023. But the CEB now says that 285 billion rupees will be spent for the next 6 months. According to our calculation, the actual cost of electricity supply will be reduced by 107 billion rupees. If that is the case, the electricity tariff should be reduced by at least 27 percent as a whole for the coming period. Otherwise, by reducing tariffs by 3 percent only for a limited number of customer groups based on fake data, justice will not be done to all electricity consumers. Also, the expected increase in income for the Electricity Board will not happen.”
In the revision of electricity tariffs, proposals should be submitted in accordance with the tariff system (equation) approved under the Sri Lanka Electricity Act. According to that method, only the reasonable cost of supplying electricity can be charged from the electricity consumer. However, Sri Lanka Public Utilities Commission Chairman Mr. Janaka Ratnayake pointed out that they are trying to implement the tariff revision proposal this time too, contrary to the approved method, by including proposals to recover even the loans received by CEB from the electricity consumers.
“According to the fee system, all data should be submitted correctly. Only approved costs recoverable from the customer can be included in the total cost. But this proposal has not been submitted with the data to be submitted under the approved method. In calculating charges based on cost, the charges should be adjusted in such a way as to recover the actual and minimum cost. For example, although the market price of a liter of naphtha is 220 rupees, the price of a liter of naphtha purchased for the Kelanitissa power plant has been calculated as 266 rupees.
Then the unit costs 69 rupees 53 cents. Moreover, if this plant is generated by diesel, the unit cost will be reduced to 68 cents 14 per unit. But the estimate for the plant is on the basis of using naphtha. Calculating electricity charges based on high cost in this way is against the Electricity Act. The CEB has been informed that this is the correct information about this confusing data.
Mr. Janaka Ratnayake, Chairman of Sri Lanka Public Utilities Commission, further pointed out that energy supply can play a big role in order to quickly activate the collapsed economy.“Fuel. When the burden of electricity is heavy, it affects not only the average consumer but also the industrialist. Fuel demand decreased due to high fuel prices. Demand for electricity has decreased due to high electricity charges. Energy should be provided at a reasonable price and give unlimited energy to the economy.
The price should be brought down fairly. It should be done immediately. Fuel prices have gone down in the world market. The exchange rate is better than last year. In response to that, since the people have been given the opportunity to provide relief in a fair manner, the energy prices should be reduced based on the actual cost. After submitting the necessary information related to the fee revision proposal presented by CEB, we have planned to hold a public consultation on the fee revision proposal and take the final decision based on the opinions of the people.
Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka