Power price hike will cause minimal CPI increase: minister

Taipei, The new electricity rates scheduled to take effect from April 1 are expected to have very little impact on the consumer price index (CPI), Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (???) said Wednesday.

Citing a study by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Shen said before a meeting at the Legislative Economics Committee that the move will trigger an increase of 0.08 percent in the CPI.

"It is not expected to cause a massive increase in consumer product prices," he said.

On Tuesday, Taiwan Power Co., announced an average 3 percent hike in electricity prices, increasing the rate from NT$2.5488 (US$0.087) per kilowatt hour (kWh) to NT$2.6253 from Sunday. It also made public special electricity costs from June 1 to Sept. 30 as part of its efforts to encourage users to reduce consumption during the peak summer months.

The 3 percent increase will not apply to 10.55 million households that use less than 500 kWh per month or 740,000 small businesses that use less than 1,500 kWh per month, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Under the plan, Taipower estimates that a household using less than 1,000 kWh per month will pay an extra NT$93, or 2.71 percent more, for its electricity price, while small businesses that consume less than 2,000 kWh will see their bills go up by NT$113, or 1.5 percent.

This will be the first electricity price hike in Taiwan since October 2013.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel