Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government sticks to plan on power price cuts ahead of election

Government sticks to plan on power price cuts ahead of election

A worker installs new electricity lines in Phnom Penh in July 2014. Heng Chivoan
A worker installs new electricity lines in Phnom Penh in July 2014. Heng Chivoan

Government sticks to plan on power price cuts ahead of election

Officials appeared to walk back a promise to issue larger-than-average electricity price reductions ahead of July’s elections, instead following a previously announced plan to make small reductions in costs.

Ty Norin, chairman of the Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC), released a statement earlier this month announcing a modest cut in electricity prices, dropping prices by up to 20 riel, or less than $0.01, per kilowatt hour (kWh) for some residential users. The cuts are set to take effect in April.

Norin’s announcement comes on the heels of a statement he made last month promising a price cut greater than previous years, after he was urged by Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem to consider a deeper reduction. Sem suggested a price cut could garner support for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party ahead of July’s national elections.

But the recently announced cuts, which were first detailed in the EAC’s five-year plan in 2015, are the same cuts referred to by the minister, according to Victor Jona, a spokesman at the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Jona said he was unaware of any additional planned cuts.

“This [plan for price reduction] is what we have considered since 2015,” he said yesterday, adding that electricity costs had been declining slightly for the past three years. “The decrease in electricity prices this year has been made in accordance with our clear-cut annual plan.”

Commercial and industrial enterprises will see a smaller drop in electrical costs than most residents, with prices dropping by less than 2 riel, or $0.0004, per kWh, according to Norin’s statement.

While Jona acknowledged that the reduction in electricity costs for commercial enterprises was small, he said the effect of the price cuts would be felt over time.

“If we compare the decline of electricity price year-on-year, we see it is slight, but if we see the trend for the last several years there is a significant decrease,” he said, adding that for those industries consuming the greatest amount of electricity in the Kingdom, prices had fallen by up to 350 riel, or $0.09, per kWh since 2010.

Private firms have often urged the government to seek ways to lower its electricity prices, which are higher than regional neighbours and viewed as a deterrent to potential foreign direct investment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused