Fri, May 23, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Taipower's losses growing despite increase in rates


State-owned Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said yesterday that it would not fully reflect the steep rise in global fuel costs when it raises electricity prices by between 10 percent and 20 percent on July 1, in order to lessen the impact on the economy.

As the implementation of higher summer electricity prices from next month to September approaches, the Cabinet said in its written statement yesterday that Taipower could only raise its electricity prices by one-fourth of what it needed to adjust on July 1, and increase to one half on Oct. 1.

“Based on Taipower’s current estimation, the level of price hike would exceed 10 percent, but no more than 20 percent on July 1,” Huang Huei-yu (黃惠予), deputy director of Taipower’s department of public relations, said yesterday.

“But Taipower’s exact price hike cannot be determined until CPC Corp, Taiwan [CPC, 台灣中油] announces its price adjustments on June 1,” Huang said.

Taipower’s losses will total NT$46.6 billion (US$1.5 billion) at the end of this month, which Huang said would surge above NT$100 billion by the end of this year, as the company will not fully reflect the rise in fuel costs.

Based on an average 318 kilowatt hours that the nation’s households used per month last year, average homeowners will likely have to pay NT$30 to NT$50 per month more for electricity in July, Huang said.

Taipower posted a 10 percent gain in sales last month compared with a year earlier as the company sold 15.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, the utility said in a newsletter.

Electricity sales at Taipower increased an average 4.4 percent annually over the past five years, the company said on its Web site.


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