has raised electricity rates for businesses and industry as part of a long-term effort to adjust prices to reflect costs and to promote energy saving as the country struggles to meet soaring demand.
The 5.7 per cent increase was the first price rise since July 2008, when electricity tariffs for non-residential users rose by 5 per cent. Residential electricity rates have remained stable since a 1 per cent rise in July 2006, but a residential rate increase is planned for early 2010.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) notice said that rate increases were delayed to prevent increases from hurting businesses that are already suffering from the global economic slowdown. However, with the Chinese economy projected to grow by over 8 per cent this year, the focus appears to have shifted to long-term planning and energy saving. The NDRC said that businesses will pay an extra 0.028 yuan (0.4 US cents) per kWh from the end of November.
’s power consumption rose nearly 16 per cent in October from the equivalent figure in 2008, to 313.4TWh. This was the fifth consecutive month of increases as the economy recovered from a slowdown early in 2009.