Power prices will be adjusted every quarter instead of every year, beginning September 1, according to a new circular issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The circular followed the Prime Minister's Decision No 24, dated April 15, on adjusting electricity prices in accordance with market mechanisms.

Accordingly, power tariffs would be calculated and checked every month against changes in foreign exchange, fuel prices and electricity productivity.

Electricity of Vietnam Group (EVN) would check production costs and assess factors that are likely to affect power prices prior to the 20th day of every month.

The group is allowed to raise the price of power by a maximum of 5 percent, equivalent to the rise in production costs, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

If the group wants to raise the price by more than 5 percent, it would have to seek permission from the ministries of industry and trade and finance, who then propose the hike to the Prime Minister.

If production costs decrease, EVN would be compelled to lower power prices by up to 5 percent, according to the circular.

When necessary, the Government would use the power price stabilisation fund and other measures to minimise the impact of possible price hikes on consumers.

Vietnam raised the average price of electricity by more than 15 percent at the beginning of March in an effort to build a strong power market./.