Households Might Pay More for Electricity

In a bid to encourage business and industry, households in Phnom Penh and Kandal prov­ince who use more than an average amount of electricity will have to pay extra, authorities said Sunday.

Under the new pricing system, residential customers who use more than 50 kilowatt hours a month will have to pay an extra 200 to 300 riel for every kilowatt hour, said Ty Norin, director of plan­ning at Electricite du Cam­bodge.

Residential customers now pay a rate of 350 riel ($0.09) per kilowatt hour, about $0.02 less than the actual cost of the electricity.

With the price rise, households that use 50 to 100 kilowatt hours will now have to pay 550 riel ($0.14) per kilowatt hour, and those who use more than 100 kilowatt hour will pay 650 riel ($0.17), Ty Norin said.

Businesses that use at least 20,000 kilowatt hours a month will be charged on a sliding scale, with small businesses paying 650 riel ($0.17) per kilowatt hour and heavy industry paying 480 riel ($0.12). Previously businesses paid a flat rate of 650 riel per kilowatt hour.

The plan mirrors one outlined by Prime Minister Hun Sen in April, which called on EdC to stop subsidizing residential customers by overcharging businesses.

Ty Norin said the new prices will mean households and business will share electricity costs more fairly, while the poorest families will still enjoy low rates.

“We have studied [this issue] and have made a just price for everyone,” he said.

He added that a family who uses five electric lights, one fan, one TV and one radio won’t be affected by the changes.

But some Phnom Penh residents disagreed.

Ea Leng, who sells clothes at Olympic Market, said the new rates are unfair.

He said won’t benefit from the discount to businesses, and 50 kilowatt hour is not enough for his family’s needs.



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