Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has increased the retail power tariff by 6.96% per unit (kilowatt-hour) on an average, with the price rising from Tk5.75 to Tk6.15; a price hike of Tk0.40.
BERC has also introduced a new slab of “lifeline tariff” for domestic power users who consume between 1-50 units. For this group of consumers, the power price was not increased; meaning a consumer would have to pay between Tk100-Tk167 monthly to use 1-50 units of electricity.
The tariff will also stay unchanged for the consumers using electricity for agricultural purposes.
BERC announced the decision on 13th March at the commission office in the city’s Karwan Bazar. BERC members Salim Mahmud and Delwar Hossain were also present during the announcement of the new tariff. This is the first power tariff hike since the present government assumed office in January this year.
The new tariff – which was announced without introducing any subsidy – will come into effect from the current billing month.
At household level, prices have been raised under six slabs – 6.1 percent for use up to 75 units, 5.92 percent for 76-200 units, 7.45 percent for 201-300 units, 9.94 percent for 301-400 units, 6.64 percent for 401-600 units and 5.86 percent for above 601 units.
According to BERC, cost of electricity will rise up to Tk 15 under first slab, Tk 22.5 under second slab and Tk 59-86, Tk 98-135, Tk 148-241 and Tk 255-461 under third, fourth, fifth and sixth slabs respectively.
For commercial and office use, per unit flat rate of power has been increased to Tk 9.58 from Tk 9 and off-peak hour rate to Tk 8.16 from Tk 7.22. The peak hour tariff remains unchanged at Tk 11.85.
For small industries, flat rate has been raised to Tk 7.42 from Tk 6.95, off-peak rate to Tk 6.64 from Tk 5.96 and peak rate to Tk 9 from Tk 8.47.
The flat rate for power used in street lights and water pumps has been increased to Tk 6.93 from Tk 6.48.
Of the five electricity distribution agencies, Bangladesh Power Development Board proposed a hike of 15.5 percent, Dhaka Power Distribution Co Ltd 23.5 percent, Dhaka Electric Supply Co Ltd 15.9 percent, Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board 12.58 percent and West Zone Power Distribution Ltd 8.59 percent.
BERC Chairman AR Khan said the commission made its decision after considering the interest of all consumers, as well as keeping in mind the socioeconomic impact of the move. The BERC also considered on ensuring that the hike did not have a negative impact on the poor, while considering the impact of agriculture in the national economy, he added.