Sun, Jul 03, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Price hikes are necessary, new Taipower chief says

POWER-SAVING The newly-appointed chief of Taipower noted that higher electricity rates will help consumers take conservation seriously

CNA , TAIPEI

Newly-appointed Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) chairman Hwang Ing-san (黃營杉) yesterday said that it was necessary to "reasonably" adjust electricity fees upward.

Hwang made the remarks during a recent interview.

Hwang will take over as Taipower chairman tomorrow. He recently stepped down as Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp chairman.

Hwang, known for his management skills, will face the daunting task of dealing with the electricity fee hikes and possible financial losses for the company this year when he assumes his new post.

Noting that Taiwan relies heavily on imported energy, Hwang said that the nation has to upgrade the efficiency of its energy consumption and that a reasonable hike in electricity fees would help induce energy conservation efforts.

He pointed out that Taiwan uses fuels from different sources to meet its electricity needs. From a management angle, he said, the top priority should be given to the use of low-cost fuels, and that the best combination in the use of low-cost and high-cost fuels should be found in order to reduce costs.

Except for hydro-electric plants, Taiwan relies on imported fuel, natural gas and nuclear plants to meet its electricity needs, he said.

Taiwan must conserve energy, and one of the best ways to induce the public to upgrade energy efficiency is to hike electricity fees, noting that if fees are too low, the public won't think seriously about conserving energy.

The nation has not hiked electricity prices since 1983, and in fact has lowered the rates several times during that period, Hwang noted, saying that it was time to think seriously about a price hike.

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