VIENTIANE, July 19 (The Vientiane Times/ANN): The Prime Minister’s Office has issued a notice to the Ministry of Energy and Mines to reduce residential electricity prices from April to December during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Notice No.752 on July 14 follows Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith’s advice on July 8 to implement a policy where consumers using less than 150 kWh per month will be charged 355 kip per kWh.
Consumers using 150 kWh or more will be charged two different rates. For 150-461 kWh a month, the first 150 kWh will cost 355 kip per kWh with the remainder charged at 710 kip per kWh.
Electricity customers using more than 462 kWh a month will be charged 710 kip per kWh for the entire bill.
The notice also stressed for the Ministry of Energy and Mines to work with concerned sectors to research improving the structure of electricity prices balancing consumer concerns with the country’s socio-economic circumstances.
The price choice should be offered to the government for their consideration in October.
The notice was issued following the conclusion of the monthly government meeting for June, which tabled electricity prices for discussion and public complaints concerning soaring bills. The government also announced measures to ease the financial burden amid the nationwide pandemic.
According to the Minister of Energy and Mines, Dr Khammany Inthirath, his ministry started to undertake studies to restructure electricity prices in 2018, which will be implemented from this year to 2025.
He said the new structure, which was approved by the government, was more reasonable than the previous scale, which was divided into six ranges (0-25 kWh, 26-150 kWh, 151-300 kWh, 301-400 kWh, 401-500 kWh, and above 500 kWh). Now most power users will pay less.
However, electricity users of 150 kWh to 461 kWh per month have complained the new structure resulted in them paying more for their bills. - Vientiane Times/Asian News Network