Sri Lanka’s state-run electricity monopoly will raise tariffs by 264% for people consuming the least, while higher users will face a smaller increase, with effect from 10th August 2022.
The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had asked for a bigger tariff increase of over 800%, but the regulator capped it at a maximum of 264%, the first in nine years, to recoup part of its accumulated losses of $616 million.
The CEB is now permitted to increase rates by 264% to consumers who use below 30 units up to a maximum of 198 rupees, and from 30 units to 60 units by 211% to a maximum of 599 rupees. From 60 to 90 units, the increase will be by 125%.
Sri Lanka has 7.8 million electricity users, 6.7 million of which are domestic consumers. 1.1 million are general purpose, while 1.4 million consume under 30 units. 1.7 million use 90 units, while 4.8 million use fewer than 90 units each month.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis after running out of foreign exchange reserves to finance even its most essential imports such as food, fuel, and medicine.
The country is also facing hyperinflation and lengthy electricity blackouts after the CEB failed to buy oil for its thermal generators.
Unable to pay its $51 billion foreign debt, the government declared it was defaulting in April and is negotiating with the IMF for a possible bailout.