Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Electricity tariff not reduced due to ringgit drop: Ongkili

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is unable to lower the electricity tariff despite the fall in global fuel prices because of the ringgit’s drop in value against regional currencies as well as against other major currencies, said Datuk Seri Dr. Maximus Ongkili.

The Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister said the drastic fall in the value of the ringgit against the US dollar means fuel costs in ringgit terms are still high. “The drastic depreciation of the ringgit against the US dollar means the government has not been able to translate the decline in prices of fuels like crude oil, coal and gas on the world market (into lower tariff rates),” he said at the Dewan Rakyat here today. He was replying to Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP-Beruas) who wanted to know why Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s (TNB) tariffs have not come down despite the drastic fall in prices of fuels used to generate electricity, like petroleum, gas and coal. Ongkili said a tariff review has not been done as the government has established a base tariff of 38.53 sen/kWh until Dec 31, 2017.

“Any review of the electricity tariff before this date will only be to reflect changes in the fuel costs and electricity generation costs,” he said. Ongkili refuted allegations that the government has not taken any action to reduce the electricity tariff in line with the fall in global fuel costs, saying the government has thrice given rebates to consumers since last year through savings from the renegotiation of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Imbalance Cost Pass-Trough mechanisms.

He said a rebate of 2.25 sen/kWh was given from March 1 to June 2015, while a similar rebate was given for July to December last year. For the period from January to June this year, consumers will enjoy a rebate of 1.52 sen/kWh, he said. Replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Ahmad Hamzah (BN-Jasin), Ongkili said the 1.6 per cent surcharge for electricity bills that exceed 300 kWh a month is for the Renewable Energy Fund as part of efforts to develop the country’s renewable energy programme, which aims to generate 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020.

 

Source - NST