Photo: Ngoc Thang
State-owned Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) is mulling over time-of-use billing to start charging consumers considerably more for power use during peak hours, news website Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon Online reported Sunday.
The report, which quoted an unnamed source from EVN, came just a few days after the government allowed the monopoly supplier to increase power prices by 7.5 percent, setting the local average price at VND1,622 per kWh, starting this March 16.
Consumers in Vietnam are now charged the same rate during the day.
There are different pricing tiers, but they are based on how much electricity a household consumes within a month. A higher rate will apply once consumption exceeds 50 kWh, 100 kWh, and every next 100 kWh until it hits the 400 kWh mark.
The lowest rate is equal to 92 percent of the average price, and the top band is 2.5 fold higher than the average.
According to the website, the new billing method will be similar to the one being applied in power production, in which peak-hour rates are almost double the normal mid-peak rates, while off-peak-hour rates around 40 percent lower.
Peak hours are defined as 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 5:20-8 p.m. from Monday to Saturday while the off-peak hours start from 8 p.m. and end at 4 in the morning.
The off-peak hours are the same for Sunday, but there's no peak hour.
In order to track its customers’ consumption history, EVN will have an information technology company install a small card into their meters, the report said, adding that the plan will be piloted at some cities before being applied nationwide.
EVN wants to encourage people to use more electricity during off-peak hours to curb overloading with the new method, according to the source.
The source said the supplier also planned to allow customers to pay their electricity bills in advance, besides the current pay-as-you-go billing.