For the first time ever, the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) will hold a public hearing today on a proposal tabled by the Consumers’ Association Bangladesh (CAB) to reduce electricity prices.
BERC Chairman Monowar Islam disclosed the session on Wednesday after hearing a separate proposal from Northern Electricity Supply Company (Nesco), which is currently supplying power to Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions.
While the CAB has been demanding a cut in electricity prices, Nesco managing director Jakiul Islam proposed a 15.3% increase during the company’s hearing with the BERC on Wednesday.
If the Nesco proposal is implemented based on the current bulk pricing rates, the price per unit of electricity will shoot up to Tk1.07. And if the bulk prices see a hike, unit prices will further rise.
Like other distribution agencies and companies, Nesco too urged for an increase in demand and service charges.
“Our bulk purchasing prices of electricity are higher compared to other companies. Power factor charge is also higher due to an increase in the prices,” Jakiul said.
However, BERC’s technical evaluation committee suggested increasing power price per unit by 89 paisa.
BERC members Rahman Murshed, Md Mizanur Rahman, Md Abdul Aziz Khan and Md Mahmudul Haq Bhuiyah and other stakeholders also attended Wednesday’s hearing at TCB Bhaban in Karwan Bazar of Dhaka.
It completed a seven-day public hearing, which started on September 25, on proposals submitted by six state-owned electricity agencies and distribution companies to fix new bulk pricing and retail tariffs.
According to relevant laws, the regulatory commission has to take its decisions within 90 days of a hearing.
Seeking anonymity, a director-level official of BERC said that there will be an announcement on a fresh hike in electricity tariffs late next month, which will come into effect on December 1.