Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) announced yesterday that electricity rates for the summer months will drop by a bigger margin and that one rate level will be added to the existing three levels.
Lin made the announcement after he led officials of the state-owned Taiwan Power Co (Tai-power, 台電) in making a report to the DPP legislative caucus about its rate-cut proposal.
Presently there are three rate levels: those who use less than 110 kilowatt hours, those who use between 110 kilowatt hours and 330 kilowatt hours and those who use more than 331 kilowatt hours. A level between 331 kilowatt hours and 500 kilowatt hours will now be added.
Under the new system, a household using fewer than 110 kwh per month would pay NT$0.2 less to NT$2 per kilowatt-hour (kwh). Those using between 110kwh and 330kwh per month would pay NT$0.1 less to NT$2.6 per kilowatt-hour. Usage between the 331kwh to 500kwh per month will be subject to NT$3.3 per kilowatt hour, which will be cut by NT$0.1 per kilowatt-hour. For users in the over-500kwh bracket, the rate will remain the same at NT$3.3 per kilowatt-hour.
Lin said that the new rates will be retroactive to June 1, the start of summer electricity rates.
DPP Legislator Chao Yung-ching (趙永清) said that Taipower has a bigger surplus than expected every year and should be able to afford to cut its rates.
Chao also asked that the off-peak time span should begin earlier than 10:30pm. Taipower officials said that this would result in losses of between NT$5 billion and NT$6 billion (US$144.92 million to US$173.91 million) and would need further study.