Electricity distribution companies apply for price hike
Jannatul Ferduhsy || BusinessInsider
As prices of electricity rose at wholesale level, the power distribution companies have applied for enhancing retail prices before the regulatory watchdog, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC).
The West Zone Power Distribution Company (OZPDCO) was the first to propose a price increase at the consumer level. The company distributes electricity among 21 districts of South West Bangladesh including Khulna and Barisal.
Last week, West Zone Power Distribution Company (OZPDCO) Managing Director Engineer Azharul Islam confirmed the matter to Business Insider Bangladesh and said that the company had proposed to hike the power prices at the customer level by 20 percent.
He said: “A 20 percent price increase has been proposed in the already submitted application. This price hike has been proposed considering the recent hike in wholesale prices.”
Dhaka Electricity Supply Company (DESCO) Chief Engineer Shamim Ahsan Chowdhury also informed that his company also applied for hiking the retail prices in accordance with the bulk prices.
He said: “We did not mention any percentage of price hike. We wanted as much as we would lose from the bulk price hike.”
When asked, Managing Director of Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC), Bikash Dewan said, ‘We didn’t demand more than bulk level prices. In fact, we have applied to cover the losses caused by wholesale price hike.”
BERC member (power), Mohammad Bazlur Rahman, said, “We will hold a hearing over the applications of the distribution companies based on the report of the evaluation committee before making price adjustments but we are not in favour of price hike at retail level.”
Distribution companies buy electricity at wholesale or bulk rates. Although the power prices have been increased, it is not affecting consumers at this point. However, the distribution companies will incur losses.
After having a public hearing on those applications, the Commission may set new prices at the client level.
Wholesale electricity prices were hiked by 19.92 percent on Monday. There, per unit of electricity price was increased from Tk 5.17 to Tk 6.20, respectively.