Gov’t orders electricity price hike to be reviewed

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has told the Ministry of Industry and Trade to work with the General Statistics Office of Vietnam to review the impact of the power price hike, which took effect on March 20, Motthegioi news site reported.

Gov’t orders electricity price hike to be reviewed
Electricity workers inspect transformers in the northern province of Phu Tho. The Government has told the Ministry of Industry and Trade to review the impact of the power price hike

Hue, who is also head of the Government's Steering Committee for Price Management, asked the ministry to make transparent the input costs and the results of power trading and production, in line with prevailing regulations.

The retail electricity price rose by 8.36% to VND1,864 from the previous VND1,720 per kilowatt hour on March 20, according to Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN). But many consumers have complained that their electricity bills are far higher than expected.

Besides this, the Government told the ministry to adjust domestic fuel prices in accordance with developments on the global market, in combination with the use of the fuel price stabilization fund to stabilize the fuel market.

It is necessary to proactively map out a plan to cope with fuel price rises to keep inflation from soaring, the deputy prime minister noted.

Due to the electricity price hike and two hikes in fuel prices in April, the country’s consumer price index (CPI) inched up 0.31% in April.

The deputy prime minister also asked the relevant ministries and departments to closely collaborate to control inflation and keep the CPI below 4% this year and to stabilize the macroeconomy.

Electricity bills surge at least 35%

Electricity bills for March soared by at least 35% over the previous month due to the higher power demand during scorching weather and the retail electricity price hike of 8.36%, besides being in force for a longer month compared with February, Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) told the local media.


The longer month resulted in an increase of 10.7% in electricity consumption, while the higher power demand due to hot weather caused electricity bills to inch up by some 16%.

The highest electricity volume consumed in a day was 63.4 million kilowatt hours in Hanoi and 90.04 kilowatt hours in HCMC.

As of April 26, up to 57.2% of households in HCMC saw their electricity bills rising by over 30% over the previous month.

According to EVN, it received some 13,000 complaints from local consumers over the increase in electricity bills from March 20 --- the day the upward power price adjustment took effect --- to April 26. To ensure customers’ rights and interests, EVN will reexamine their electricity bills.

EVN also asked the directors of power companies to proactively deal with customers’ complaints within 24 hours. Since March 20, EVN has assisted its customers with calculating their electricity bills themselves through and on their smartphones.

According to many experts, the surge in electricity bills was due to the electricity bill calculation method of progressive tariffs regulated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Circular 16/2014. Accordingly, there are six levels of power consumption and the price of electricity at higher levels is higher than that at lower levels.

In 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed amending the electricity bill calculation method by applying an average electricity price or reducing the electricity consumption rate to three levels. However, the proposal has been put on hold.


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