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April 10, 2012

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Hearing set on power tariffs

THE proposed graduated rate system for residential power users will be the subject of a public hearing in Shanghai early next month.

The mechanism, which will charge higher rates for heavier users, should be implemented nationwide in the first half of this year with each province and municipality rolling out its own plan, the National Development and Reform Commission has said.

Details of the local plan were not known. But the NDRC said the proposal calls for a three-tier structure for electricity prices and that it will leave 80 percent of the nation's households unaffected.

According to the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission, the hearing will be held in the first 10 days of next month and be attended by 19 people - eight consumers, three government representatives, two power-sector experts, and one each representing the local people's congress, political advisory body, city labor union, local consumer rights protection committee, the power industry association and the power company.

Interested local residents can file applications until Saturday with the Shanghai Commission of Consumers' Rights and Interests Protection.

The average monthly consumption for the lowest 80 percent of local power users has not been revealed. A representative for the local power distributor has declined to give such figures, citing commercial confidentiality.

The residential power tariff is 0.617 yuan (about 10 US cents) per kilowatt hour in Shanghai, a rate cut in half at night.


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