Summer electricity rates
There have been calls for canceling the summer electricity rates, especially from some industrial and commercial organizations, to offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When considering whether the higher rates should be canceled, the first question to ask is why there is a summer tariff to begin with: It is a tool to reduce electricity consumption, not an “increase” in rates. This is a long-standing measure that is also used in the US, Japan and the UK. It is intended to encourage the public to save electricity, and to make large users of electricity — more than 70 percent of Taiwan’s electricity is consumed by industry — shoulder a larger share of the electricity cost, because they use more.
For those in need, the government has strengthened relief measures, and for businesses affected by the epidemic, the government would automatically reduce tariffs if their electricity consumption falls from the same period last year.
Canceling the summer tariff would have a limited effect on the industries affected by the pandemic. Doing so would also subsidize large electricity users that are not affected. That would not only increase the financial burden of Taiwan Power Co (Taipower), it would also increase the burden of taxpayers, as Taipower is a state-owned enterprise.
It is unreasonable and unfair to use taxpayers’ money to subsidize corporate and other large electricity consumers.
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