China is set to begin progressive electricity tariffs for residential use nationwide, announced the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in a statement on its website. Shanghai Daily with the details:
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.
Government buildings and large public structures, such as shopping malls and business towers, will be penalized with higher electric rates if they fail to abide by new energy-saving standards being developed by the city, Shanghai Construction Commission officials said yesterday.
Local standards for all such buildings will be developed over the next two years and will take effect soon after that, said Shen Xiaosu, the deputy director of the construction commission.
A high-tech monitoring center began operating fully yesterday as a part of the plan to curb unnecessary power use inside hundreds of public buildings.
“Private households tend to be more economical, while past investigations prove the public buildings are always much more extravagant in power consumption,” Shen said.
What this means for Shanghai — electricity prices will rise by about 4 percent on the average:
The price of electricity in the basic needs category will stay the same while that for the portion exceeding the figure will increase by 0.05 yuan per kwh, and rise by 0.3 yuan for the portion beyond 400 kwh, the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission said.
At present, the city’s residential power price is 0.617 yuan (about 10 US cents) per kwh, and half that at night.
On average, the local plan will translate into an average rise of 0.024 yuan per kwh and an extra 4.15 yuan per month per household, the city commission said.
Extra money raised by the new system will be used to compensate power producers for rising fuel costs, upgrade power plants to make them more environment-friendly, and replace residential power meters. They cannot be used for the benefit of power company employees, the commission said.
To mitigate seasonal factors, the commission is proposing to raise the basic needs figure to 350 kwh per month in July and August and in December and January when people need air-conditioning to keep cool or to stay warm. For the rest of the year it would be reduced to 210 kwh.
A third method will use one year as a calculation period: a household pays what it currently pays for power until consumption rises to 3,120 kwh, and then pays higher prices during the rest of the year.