Nothing wrong with recent power price hike: ministry

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s decision to raise the electricity price by 8.36% on average is in line with the Electricity Law and the Government’s relevant decisions and directives, according to a report sent to the Government.

Nothing wrong with recent power price hike: ministry
A worker installs a power transmission line. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has confirmed that the recent power price hike was appropriate

The report, sent by the ministry, discusses the formulation, issuance and deployment of Decision 648/QD-BCT on the adjustment of the average electricity retail price and regulations on electricity prices, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.

The ministry stated that the new electricity price was announced in line with the Pricing Law. In addition, electricity bills for March were calculated based on Vietnam Electricity Group’s (EVN’s) process and the Government’s regulations.

The higher power demand during scorching weather, the retail electricity price hike of 8.36% and the longer month were the main causes for the surge in electricity bills for March compared with previous months.

From March 20 to May 4, EVN handled more than 71,500 customer complaints related to their electricity bills, including 14,500 requests to reevaluate the bills.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed the prime minister assign the Ministry of Information and Technology to direct press agencies to accurately inform the public of the State’s and Government’s purposes in adjusting the electricity price and to impose sanctions on those who deliberately distort the facts surrounding the electricity price hike to incite social disorder.

It confirmed that Vietnam’s electricity price remains lower than that in other ASEAN countries. Specifically, it is equal to 66% of the average electricity price of eight regional countries, 37% of Laos’ price and 78% of Cambodia’s price.

In addition, developed countries such as South Korea and Japan as well as regional countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia apply a power consumption ladder policy similar to Vietnam.

In Vietnam, the policy was carefully studied and experts were consulted before it was applied.

 

Nevertheless, the ministry will propose a new electricity price range to encourage local consumers to use electricity sparingly and ensure social welfare.

The prime minister should ask the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises to enhance supervision of EVN’s finances. It is also necessary to accelerate the restructuring of EVN and convert the National Load Dispatch Center into an independent entity under EVN, the ministry suggested.

In related news, EVN is preparing a plan to pilot a competitive electricity retail market and will submit the proposal to the Ministry of Industry and Trade in July, remarked EVN Chairman Duong Quang Thanh.

EVN equitized three power companies and completed a plan to convert the National Load Dispatch Center into a one-member limited company late last year. The Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises is considering the plan and will soon submit it to the prime minister.

The group will also complete a plan to separate the distribution and retail sales of electricity this year to officially open the electricity retail market in 2021.

Developing infrastructure, proposing regulations and equitizing retail affiliates are also EVN’s key jobs in the coming period to accelerate the group’s equitization, in line with the prime minister’s Decision 168/QD-TTg.

EVN has required power corporations to closely control the calculation of electricity bills and promptly address customers’ complaints.

The group will provide details on the volume of electricity consumed by its customers each month to the Ministries of Industry and Trade and Planning and Investment so that the two ministries can assess the effects of the electricity price hike, Thanh added.

Although all customers can now calculate their own electricity bills, EVN will adjust the electricity bill form so that the bills will be easily understandable. The group also pledged to address any shortcomings in the collection of electricity bills. SGT

 
 
 
 
 
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