Alexa

No timetable for third stage of electricity rate hikes: Taipower

No timetable for third stage of electricity rate hikes: Taipower

Taipei, May 2 (CNA) The third stage of a three-phase plan to raise electricity rates will depend on the company's reform efforts, and no timetable has been set for when it will take effect, state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) said Wednesday. The country's sole power supplier will propose an improvement program within six months, said Taipower Chairman Edward Chen before a hearing at the Legislative Yuan. "In order to meet and respond to public expectations, Taipower will definitely work hard to improve," Chen said. Taipower has come under attack since the government announced in early April that electricity rates would be raised substantially in May to help the state-run utility cover mounting losses. The announcement sparked outrage, with critics contending that some of the company's losses were due to poor management and bloated pay scales and that consumers and the private sector should not have to pay for Taipower's waste and inefficiency. As a result of the criticism, and fears higher electricity prices could push inflation above 2 percent in Taiwan this year, the government on Tuesday said the rate hikes would be introduced in three stages, with the third stage depending on how well Taipower was carrying out internal reforms. Chen pledged that the company would conduct a thorough review of its operations, including its procurement and compensation systems and organizational approach. "We are confident we will make the effort to get better," he said. Under the original rate hike plan, rates for household, commercial and industrial power users were to have gone up by an average 16.9 percent, 30 percent and 35 percent, respectively, on May 15. The new plan will raise electricity rates by 40 percent of the original plan on June 10 and then again on Dec. 10, but the final 20 percent of the planned hike will not be implemented until the company streamlines its operations to the government's satisfaction. Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang estimated Wednesday that under the new plan, Taipower would lose NT$72.2 billion (US$2.48 billion) in 2012 and have accumulated losses of NT$190.1 billion at the end of the year. (By James Lee)


Updated : 2021-03-06 17:25 GMT+08:00