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February 25, 2013

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Electric company looks for way to reward power conservation

SHANGHAI is studying ways to encourage power conservation by compensating households which have registerd an annual power consumption within the first level of the city's graduated rate system.

Under the current yearly power rate mechanism, the first 3,120 kilowatt hours a family uses is charged at 0.617 yuan (10 US cents ) per kilowatt hour. For consumption between that amount and 4,800 kilowatt hours per year, power is priced at 0.677 yuan.

Once yearly usage hits 4,800 kilowatt hours, consumers are charged the highest price, 0.977 yuan, for every additional kilowatt hour they use.

The rate is cut in half at night.

Zhao Yiliang, deputy general manager of Shanghai Electric Power Co, the city's power supplier, said the company is studying a way of rewarding or compensating low power users, such as rolling the amount of electricity not used within the first rate block to next year's quota.

Big families with separate registered permanent residence and actual residence remain a problem. The current policy grants bigger quotas to families having five members or above. Shanghai has around 4.9 million households with hukou and actual residence separated.

Meanwhile, the current power rate system may also weigh heavily on renters whose families are composed of more than five people - renters do not have their permanent residence with the house and therefore can not apply for an extra power quota.

It is estimated that 85 percent of city households would not reach the second level of power rates under normal weather conditions.


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