Power tariffs will be reduced from the current six levels to three or even one level in the future, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said.

Reports from the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) showed that power consumption in the period from April to June posted over 10 percent year-on-year increase due to abnormally hot weather and drought, resulting in the rise of household electricity bills.

The new power selling tariffs which were applied since March 16, 2015, also attributed to the surge of 1.5 to 3 times in power bills.

Hoang said the power tariff calculation and the tariff levels have seen shortcomings. For a normal household, the electricity bill rising from 200,000 VND to 300,000 VND to more than 1 million VND a month, would be a considerable expense.

Sharing the ideas, Deputy Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong said according to the current power tariff structure, if a household consumed over 400kWh, the power tariff would be 1,000 VND a kWh higher than the average level. That was the reason why high power consumption in summer has sent electricity bills surging. The current power tariffs have several different levels which having more consumption that would result in a hike in the bills. However, this calculation has not convinced consumers.

With regard to power bills and data collection from electricity meters, a representative from the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV) said they asked the EVN to check and supervise power supply. The power sector received around 2,500 to 3,000 comments from customers in a month, of which 200 to 300 comments were for power bills. After check-ups, customers would receive answers from the EVN.

Deputy Minister Vuong said the calculation that stipulates "more the consumption, more the payment" was not suitable as the current power tariffs had earned a profit for the company. The tariff hike, therefore, could not be blamed for encouraging consumers to adopt power saving measures.

He wanted the ERAV to study how they could reduce the number of power tariff levels as well as reduce the difference between levels.

Minister Hoang also asked relevant agencies to change the tariffs as they had not been reasonable in the current situation. He urged them to apply one level across all consumption levels in the future.

The ERAV said power tariffs would be shortened from the current six to three levels. This would make electricity consumption calculations less complicated, benefit customers and make it easier for the management agencies.-VNA