11 September 2019
Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation (YESC) announced its plan to increase the electricity bill due to the losses which the government had to bear in electricity distribution. Therefore with the aim to curb the losses, the bill was hiked and was put into action from the month of July and YESC saw the significant increase of revenue collection in July.
According to the statistics released by YESC, basic income families in Yangon with the domestic usage of 1 to 75 units in a month which makes up 26% of the consumers, for this group they will have to pay only 1175 kyats in a month. The middle income families which monthly consume from 75 to 200 units are 38% of the consumers, and for this group, they have to pay from 2250 kyats to 10,050 kyats per month. The last group of families which consumes more than 200 units is 36% of the consumers, for them they have to pay more than the rest of other groups.
Even though YESC reports the increase on its revenue, it also stated that there is a 14% loss in electricity distribution due to many reasons and this amount is worth 11 billion kyats. Speaking at the press conference on 9 September U Maung Maung Latt, Chairman of YESC, said, “We have both technical and non-technical losses. The technical loss happens when the distribution transformers are far-away from the power plant. But to reduce these losses, we are replacing the old wares with the new ones and also are constructing more of distribution transformers. Another main issue with technical loss is, when the electricity is being distributed from multi-transformers, it loses its voltage when the electricity reaches the other end of its distribution way. Non-technical losses occur due to unauthorized electricity access and theft. Electricity fraud has been one of the main issues for the loss.” Apart from above mentioned factors for the loss, YESC also stated YESC staff are also partly responsible for the cause of the loss as electricity meter reading has been misconducted by some staff and YESC is taking action against those who are responsible for the loss.
For non-domestic power consumption, the consumers with the usage of 1 to 500 units are 69% of the consumers, the second group with the usage of 501 to 5000 units is 25% of the consumers. The last group with the usage of more than 5000 units range from 1% to 2% of the consumers. How do we know how we use a unit? For example, if you use 2 feet tube light with 20 W for 50 hours then one unit will be consumed, for 4 feet tube light with 40 W, a unit can be consumed in 25 hours. For the fridge with 150 W, a unit can be consumed in 6 and half hours. For washing machine with 750 W, a unit will be consumed in 1 hour and 20 minutes. For air condition with 1000 W, it can consume one unit in just one hour and for electric iron with 1100 W one unit will be consumed in 45 minutes. For the electric stove with 1200 W, one unit will be consumed in 50 minutes.
Apart from increased revenue collection, YESC also saw the significant decline of electricity usage after meter rate change. YESC stated that in the month of July, 21.9 million units decreased after 1.38 consumers reduced their usage of electricity. After the price hike, the consumers are now more sensible in daily usage of electricity and have become more disciplined which is also good for YESC as reducing the usage means YESC will have backup for power. In the month of July the total revenue was 36 billion kyats though it mainly came from non-domestic consumers. Therefore, according to YESC, the price hike for electricity bill is not a big burden for the domestic consumers as it is escalated.
U Maung Maung Latt said, “After we hiked the price we see the decline of power consumption as the consumers are now trying to save the bill. In the previous months there were several mismanaged incidents in power consumption. But now we have several benefits in electricity distribution as the people are becoming very strict in power consumption.”