The Electricity Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has announced that it cannot entertain any further requests for cheaper electricity bills in the upcoming four-month cycle.
The decision comes as EGAT faces financial strain due to its accumulated loss, which resulted from subsidizing power bills between September 2021 and May 2023. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) estimates the accumulated loss to decrease to 135 billion baht by the end of the current month.
To address the financial situation, EGAT has agreed to implement a new power tariff rate of 4.45 baht per kilowatt-hour from September to December this year. This tariff will help the authority clear its losses by April 2025, with part of the money reimbursing EGAT. However, the agency has expressed concerns that further cuts in electricity prices would hinder its ability to repay debts and impact its future investment in power infrastructure.
The past high electricity prices were criticized for causing businesses to increase product prices, ultimately raising the cost of living. The Federation of Thai Industries suggested that reducing electricity prices would help businesses manage operating costs and make Thailand a more attractive investment destination. Nonetheless, Egat believes that the approved 4.45-baht rate strikes a balance between addressing consumer concerns and protecting the authority’s financial stability for future energy infrastructure investments.
EGAT Governor Boonyanit Wongrukmit made clear the importance of timely debt repayment to avoid potential negative effects on the authority’s cash flow and credit rating, which could result in higher loan rates. He also highlighted the significance of maintaining investment in power transmission expansion to ensure long-term energy security for the country.