Save power to prevent rate hike - CEB
The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) yesterday warned consumers to use
power sparingly or pay more for their electricity beginning next year.
Announcing a major awareness campaign for energy conservation, CEB
Chairman Udayasri Kariyawasam told the media that in the event of the
CEB failing to save at least six million units (one fifth of the total
daily consumption) of power, there would be no alternative but to raise
electricity charges by Rs. 4.65 per unit from 2008.
Saving one unit means saving Rs. 15 with one litre of diesel being
used to produce four units of electricity, the Chairman said adding that
the CEB was planning to be self-sufficient without depending on Treasury
subsidies to stabilise prices from 2008.
Sri Lanka is largely dependent on fuel generated electricity with 65
per cent of the total power consumption being generated through fuel and
35 per cent hydro power. The sky rocketing oil prices has had its impact
on electricity rates, the Chairman added.
The CEB accounts for 30 per cent of total fuel consumption in the
country and over the years the Government had to bear the burden by
offering huge subsidies to keep prices on an even keel.
The estimated expenditure for 2008 is Rs. 274 million per day for the
use of 4.3 million litres of fuel for power generation, Kariyawasam
"With the CEB trying to be self-sufficient we should no longer depend
on a cushion to stabilise electricity prices from 2008 and instead would
pursue avenues such as seeking cheap alternative energy and conservation
as the way forward," Kariyawasam said.
If the consumers could limit waste and help save at least one third
of the projected target of six million units it would be a major
victory, the Chairman said adding that the average daily electricity
consumption is 29 million units per day.
It is estimated that the CEB has to spend at least Rs.100 billion in
the ensuing year to generate electricity to cater to the growing demand.
Unveiling the CEB campaign on energy conservation, the Chairman said
advertisements in the print and electronic media would be of help in
educating the masses and a leaflet too is to be delivered to all
consumers, with instructions to local authorities through the Ministry
or Provincial Councils to follow.
Another avenue would be to educate Government departments and
Ministries regarding minimising waste and also a major awareness
campaign targeting school children too is in the offing. Communication
through television and radio talk shows would follow, the Chairman