The government has decided to lower electricity tariffs by 15% for three months, from December this year to the end of February 2024.

The reduction is specifically for business owners and traders in the tourism sector, aiming to support them in welcoming the influx of foreign tourists during the peak tourism season.

The Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC) announced on December 5 that the cut applies to electricity consumers in the tourism sector connected to medium and high voltage networks nationwide. 

The government directed the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the EAC and Electricity of Cambodia (EDC) to implement the tariff reduction with the intention of boosting tourist-related business activities across the country during the high season.

“Therefore, the [relevant authorities] are to reduce the price of electricity by 15% for the amount of energy used in excess of the average for the past six months by consumers in the business and commercial sectors of the tourism industry,” the EAC stated. 

Thuon Sinan, president of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Cambodia Chapter, commended the government’s ongoing efforts to support the swift recovery of the sector. 

He said the industry has faced challenges for over three years, beginning with the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequently the Russia-Ukraine war. 

He noted that although the number of international visitors is recovering, it still falls short of pre-pandemic levels, with many businesses yet to fully reopen.

“We support the government’s continued support of the sector, which is crucial in promoting national economic activity. The reduction in electricity tariffs, albeit brief, has helped alleviate some of the cost burdens on business owners,” he stated.

The EAC clarified that businesses in educational institutions, the health sector, financial institutions, insurance companies, transportation firms and general administration are not eligible for the subsidy. 

“The EAC appeals to consumers who believe their electricity consumption meets the set requirements to … apply for this tariff reduction with their local electricity supplier,” stated the EAC.

According to the energy ministry, the EAC and EDC have formed a joint working group (EAC-EDC) to assist, clarify and resolve issues regarding the policy and procedures of the tariff reduction. The continuation of the initiative will depend on the EDC’s financial feasibility.

In September 2023, the ministry also reduced electricity prices by 10 to 20% for industrial and agricultural business owners connected to the nationwide medium and high voltage power grids, as per the ministry.