Sun, Jul 20, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Government will lower electricity rates for the poor

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

The government will reduce household electricity rates to aid lower-income households with low usage, to help homeowners save an average NT$40 a month, Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) said late Friday.

The cut is expected to lower the average household electricity rate by about NT$0.10 cents per kilowatt-hour to NT$0.20 per kilowatt-hour.

The rate-cut measure and the date to implement the new rate will be announced tomorrow.

The adjustment of summer electricity prices came after consumer groups expressed anger over what they called unreasonable electricity rates during summer off-peak hours.

Since 1989, the state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) began to increase rates by a range between 10 percent and 27 percent every summer depending on how much a household consumes each month.

The rate hike for peak hours starts June 1 and ends Sept. 30.

For now, Taipower charges rates ranging between NT$2.20 per kilowatt-hour and NT$3.30 per kilowatt-hour, for non-business customers grouped into three classes according to their level of power usage.

Based on the summer price scale, a household using fewer than 110 kilowatt-hours per month would see prices jump by 10 percent to NT$2.2 per kilowatt hour; consumers using between 110 kilowatt-hours and 330 kilowatt-hours per month would see a 17 percent price hike to NT$2.7 per kilowatt hour; any usage higher than 330 kilowatt-hours per month will be subject to the 27 percent price hike or NT$3.3 per kilowatt-hour.

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