Power struggle: JSCCIB takes on govt to lower electricity prices

Picture courtesy of ThaiPBS

Tensions are running high in Thailand as the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) has declared war on the government in a bid to bring down the nation’s soaring electricity prices.

The committee, comprised of representatives from major business groups, is asking Prime Minister Prayut Chan o cha to reconsider the electricity bill calculation and reduce the power tariff of 4.77 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit), reported Bangkok Post.

The current power tariff rates for businesses have increased by 13%, reaching an all-time high of 5.33 baht per unit, while households are charged 4.72 baht per unit.

Kriengkrai Thiennukul, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, a core member of JSCCIB, said…

“The government should consider reducing the Ft because high rates will affect the economy amidst a global economic slowdown.”

The JSCCIB plans to present a letter to the 69 year old prime minister, suggesting officials should base their calculation on an assumption that the domestic gas supply will increase.

The committee is also keeping a close eye on global oil prices, as OPEC and its allies are cutting production, which is likely to increase global oil prices.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is determined to pay part of the money from power bills to the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).

The EGAT has posted an accumulated loss of 150 billion baht after subsidizing the price of electricity from September 2021 until December 2022.

The JSCCIB disagrees with a change to a two-year payback period, which would drive up power bills between May and August and has suggested a three-year payback period instead.

As the nation faces rising electricity prices, JSCCIB maintains it is fighting for the people and businesses of the country, urging the Thai government to reconsider its electricity bill calculation and bring down the power tariff.

Will the government listen to the JSCCIB, EGAT, and ERC? While it would be in their best interests as the General Election edges ever closer as electioneering ramps up trying to win votes, it remains doubtful.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.