Bangladesh power distributors want retail price hike as bulk tariff goes up

West Zone Power Distribution Company applied for the hike a day before the bulk tariff was increased

Published : 21 Nov 2022, 07:04 PM
Updated : 21 Nov 2022, 07:04 PM

Companies distributing power are seeking upward adjustments to retail prices with bulk tariff increasing by 19.92 percent to Tk 6.2 per unit.

West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited or WZPDCL applied for the retail price hike on Sunday, a day before Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission announced the rise in bulk tariff.

During the announcement, BERC Chairman Abdul Jalil said the change in the power tariff will have no impact on the retail prices faced by consumers for the time being. He said a new public hearing would be required for any hike in retail prices.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the retail prices will not be raised, for now.

For the bulk tariff hike, distributors will have to pay the Power Development Board or PDB Tk 1.03 more per unit from December. It is expected to increase PDB’s annual income by Tk 80 billion.

Jalil said the prevailing wholesale price was increased in an effort to cut back on the Tk 170 billion in subsidies for the sector.

Azharul Islam, managing director of WZPDCL, said they want the retail prices readjusted in line with the rise in the wholesale price.

“We’re almost breaking even now after incurring a bit of loss last year. This is why we’ll need a readjustment if the price is raised again,” he said.

The government reintroduced rolling blackouts in July following a gas shortage fuelled by the Russia-Ukraine war. It also raised gas and fuel oil prices to save the depleted foreign currency reserves.

The power crisis hit a nadir after widespread power grid failures, but things have improved in winter when less energy is consumed for cooling.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher