Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) will begin a seven-day public hearing between September 25 and October 4 on proposals submitted by six state-owned electricity agency and distribution companies to fix new bulk and retail power tariffs.
The hearing will be held at the TCB Bhaban in the city’s Karwan Bazar.
“All companies and agencies from the power sector have already submitted their revised proposals to BERC on electricity price hike. The public hearings will start from September 25 and a final decision will be made afterwards,” BERC Secretary Md Mahbubur Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday.
The power agency and distribution companies have incurred a huge loss from purchasing electricity from costly rental and quick rental power plants.
“The gas price, which has been hiked twice this year, has necessitated holding public hearing on electricity price. The new price may come into effect from November this year,” an official of BERC told the Dhaka Tribune, seeking anonymity.
On February 20, the state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) sent a proposal to Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission to raise the power tariff at bulk level by Tk0.72 per unit.
According to the PDB proposal, it is necessary to raise power tariff to Tk5.59 from Tk4.87 in the current fiscal year to bridge the gap in the wake of loss.
On March 7, Bangladesh Power Development Board also sent a proposal to the regulatory commission asking for steps to increase the retail price of electricity by Tk0.21 per unit (kilowatt-hour).
The proposal states that it is necessary to increase the retail power tariff to Tk6.95 from Tk6.73.
The state-owned company has also proposed to raise the demand and service charges in accordance with the consumer categories.
Besides, Rural Electrification Board of Bangladesh sought an 11% hike in retail tariff, West-Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd 10.36%, Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) 6.24%, North West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd 16%, and Dhaka Electric Supply Company (Desco) 6.34% respectively.
Prof Samsul Alam, adviser to the Consumers Association of Bangladesh, told the Dhaka Tribune, “There is no need for the power agency and companies to increase the prices. I think the power price should be be reduced.”
The government is becoming unpopular due to price hike, added Samsul.
The hearing on the bulk proposals of the Power Development Board will be held on September 25.
Besides, the hearings on PDB retail proposals will be held on September 26, REB on September 27, DPDC on September 28, Desco on October 2, West Zone Power Company on October 3 and North-West Zone Power Distribution Company on October 4.