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August 2, 2013

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Advisers push for flexibility in power tariffs

The city’s top planning body is considering adjusting the basic level of the electricity pricing system in summer as the unusual heat wave has led to a spike in power consumption.

The National Development and Reform Commission has been working on the plan to establish a flexible regime for the progressive tariff system, and Shanghai will make adjustments accordingly.

The local government had said previously that the graduated tariff system will raise Shanghai electricity prices by an average of 4 percent but would leave most families unaffected.

But that has changed now given that the city has seen a record 25 days of high temperature in July, said Tu Haiming, a local political adviser.

“It is unfair for residents to pay according to the current graduated pricing scheme for the once-in-a-century hot weather,” Tu said in a proposal calling for a higher basic level for residential use.

He said most residents will consume more than the current basic level because they have to use air-conditioning in this weather.

Some of them refrain from using the air conditioner to avoid surpassing the basic level, leading to fears of heat stroke, especially for senior residents, said Peng Jiahua, another political adviser.



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