《TAIPEI TIMES》 Taipower delays summer rate hike, offers discounts
A woman wearing a mask and motorcycle helmet walks past air-conditioner units outside a building in Taipei on May 22. Photo: CNA
By Angelica Oung / Staff reporter
Taiwan Power Co （Taipower, 台電） is delaying its implementation of summer electricity rates for residential users this month, while offering up to 30 percent discounts for industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it said yesterday.
More than 10 million users would benefit from the move, Taipower said in a statement.
It usually raises electricity prices by as much as 50 percent to moderate use from June to September every year.
“Amid restrictions from a level 3 COVID-19 alert, it is inevitable that people working from home would increase their electricity use. Taipower would probably reduce electricity bills by a total of NT$140 million [US$5 million] for households by not enacting the summer surcharge this month,” it said.
The company estimates that 75 business and agricultural users would save NT$470 million on their bills this month.
To be eligible for the reductions, the revenue of a business from last month to next month must either be lower year-on-year or lower than the averages of March and April.
Businesses that are not heavy users and whose revenues are down by more than 15 percent would be eligible for a 10 percent discount on their bills, up to NT$100,000, it said.
Companies whose revenues have fallen by more than 50 percent would be eligible for a 30 percent discount, or up to NT$300,000.
Heavy users whose revenues are down by more than 15 percent can apply to reduce part of their contract capacity to reduce their electricity bills.
Businesses that cannot reduce their contract capacity, such as department stores, would receive a 10 percent discount on their bills. Those whose revenues are down by more than 50 percent would be eligible for a 30 percent reduction, up to NT$3 million.
Taipower would use the revenue on tax returns to automatically reduce electricity bills for businesses, it said.
It urged the public to conserve energy as it expects record peak usage this summer.