Epac to Extend Discounts on Cooking Gas and Power Prices

On Monday, the Energy Policy Administration Committee (Epac) agreed to extend the subsidies for cooking gas and electricity bills for households until the end of the year.

The state social welfare card scheme would benefit around 3.74 million people, giving them a 100 baht discount on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) used for cooking.

Most Thai households will also receive graduated discounts on the fuel fee component (Ft) on their electricity bills from next month through December.

Epac plans to send the proposals to the cabinet for final approval this week, expecting them to take effect in September.

Financial aid for gas would be extended, as it was scheduled to end in September. According to Permanent Secretary for Energy Kulit Sombatsiri, the discount would also be increased, taking each standard 15-kilogram cylinder from 45 baht to 100 baht.

The official LPG price will gradually rise to 393 baht in August and 408 baht in September. However, householders said local prices had already increased in several areas.

Meanwhile, the Energy Business Department said it would calculate how much the Finance Ministry should budget for the LPG subsidy program cost.

The Epac also hopes to curb the increase in electricity prices through discounts to most households connected to the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and the Provincial Electricity Authority.

The electricity rate is forecast to soar to an all-time high of 4.72 baht per kilowatt-hour in the next four months. However, the energy policy committee will step up efforts to keep it at 3.72 baht per unit, a rate used for energy as of April this year.

Homeowners who use less than 300 units of electricity per month will receive an additional Ft discount of 0.92 baht per kilowatt-hour.

The base rate, based on the power plants and distribution systems costs, and the Ft are essential elements to determine the energy charge.

The Epac also said it would give a 15-75% discount in Ft to householders who use between 301 and 500 units of electricity per month.

According to the latest reports, about 80% of households used less than 500 units monthly.