Ft set to decrease next month, says Thailand’s ERC

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is set to reduce the fuel tariff (Ft) next month, following a recommendation by the subcommittee responsible for its calculation. The decision comes in response to concerns regarding the rising cost of living, with water rates also marked for an increase after 23 years of stagnation.

As reported by Khomgrich Tantravanich, the ERC’s secretary-general, the decrease in Ft will lead to a significant reduction in the price of electricity, from 4.77 baht to 4.70 baht per unit, a saving of seven satang. The next step for the ERC involves providing adjustment guidelines for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), the Metropolitan Electricity Authority, and the Provincial Electricity Authority, which will be implemented in the upcoming billing cycle, reported Bangkok Post.

Issues surrounding high electricity bills have been raised recently. Government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri has identified a potential cause for the inflated bills: a 36% increase in the reserve margin throughout the past year due to the global pandemic. Nonetheless, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has impacted global energy prices and led to a further increase in the Ft rate. In order to alleviate the burden on individuals with lower incomes, as well as support struggling business sectors, the government has provided financial assistance and subsidies where possible.

In a separate but related development, water rates are due for their first increase in 23 years following a significant 15-20% rise in supply and infrastructure expenses. The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) is facing the necessity to reconsider its unit rate to maintain liquidity, thanks to increased costs such as a 20-30% jump in electricity prices, explains Manich Pan-aim, the governor of MWA.

Mongkol Wanlayasewee, the governor of the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA), has noted that it may take at least two months for the authorities to submit their request for a rate increase to the incoming Cabinet. This potential hike in water prices reflects the wider issue of the increasing cost of living, emphasizing the need for regulatory bodies, such as the ERC, to take decisive action in order to mitigate financial impacts on households and businesses.

The upcoming reduction in Ft offers a glimmer of hope in the face of escalating costs in other areas, serving as a small yet significant step towards providing financial relief. Moreover, the action taken by the ERC demonstrates that regulatory bodies are aware of the financial pressures faced by the public and are actively working to address these concerns.

The precise ramifications of these changes remain to be seen, and individuals, businesses, and other affected parties must stay informed, as the global pandemic and current geopolitical issues continue to influence economic conditions. Ultimately, the perseverance shown in tackling these challenges by both government entities and regulatory bodies may be the key to alleviating the financial strain on those most vulnerable in these turbulent times.

Economy NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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