China changes electricity pricing for residential use
China will begin introducing progressive electricity rates for residential use after revisions to the original plan, the country's top economic planner said today.
The new electricity pricing scheme is part of plans to improve price reforms for electricity, water, oil and natural gas amid increasing supply pressure of energy and resources in the country, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on its website.
Similar to a progressive tax, the residential electricity rate increases as the electricity consumption base amount increases. All residents pay electricity bills according to the same rate no matter how much power they consume.
For example, Beijing has set three price brackets for residential electricity users and will keep the current electricity rate unchanged for residents consuming 240 kwh or less electricity a month. Families whose monthly electricity consumption falls between 241 kwh and 400 kwh will have to pay 50 yuan (7.9 U.S. dollars) more for every 1,000 kwh of electricity, while those consuming more than 400 kwh of electricity a month will pay 300 yuan more for every 1,000 kwh of power.
The current electricity rate for Beijing households remains at 48.83 yuan for every 100 kwh of consumption.
According to the NDRC, or China's top economic planner and price regulator, the first-bracket pricing standard will cover about 80 percent of households across the country and those low-income groups will be given a certain amount of free electricity consumption.
"It's a difficult issue to balance the interests of the public, electricity producers and the society when carrying out price reforms," the NDRC statement said, adding the commission handled the reforms in a fair and open way.
"The government's price policies will give more attention to address concerns from the public about people's livelihoods and maintain a balance between different interests," it said.
12 June 2012