CLP Power Company Hong Kong Limited and The Hongkong Electric Company Limited (HK Electric) have announced that they will be cutting electricity costs for the first time since 2009 by 0.9 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. The reduction will take effect January 1, 2016.

Residential households served by CLP Power that consume less than 875 units of electricity will see a reduction of no greater than HK$4.4 in monthly electricity fees, while those served by HK Electric and consuming 500 units will have their fees cut by HK$7.5.

CLP Power Hong Kong Limited. Photo: Wikicommons.

“If international oil prices remain at this level, we’re confident that the electricity fees in 2017 will be maintained at the 2016 rate,” CLP Power said. The Hongkong Electric Company said that they have done their best to control costs and prevent electricity fees from going up. However, the reduction was criticised by Legislative Councillors, who said that it should have been bigger.

Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said that although fuel prices appear to be softening, the two power companies have been using more clean energy resources such as natural gas, which are more costly. In particular, CLP Power has doubled their usage of natural gas. Hence, it is understandable that there is only a small reduction in electricity fees, he said.

Wong Kam-sing. File Photo: GovHK.

Wong said that the fee adjustment was made after taking into consideration suggestions made by professional independent consultants. Wong also said that the government will work on how to balance the interests of the society and stabilise the tariffs.

Excluding CLP’s special rebate of more than HK$1.2 billion in August this year, the two power companies still have more than HK$4.43 billion in Fuel Clause Recovery Accounts and Tariff Stabilization Funds – with Hong Kong Electric accounting for HK$2.1 billion and CLP for HK$2.3 billion.

A local resident interviewed by RTHK said that the reduction was not even enough to cover the costs of a breakfast. Another, Ms Tse, said that having a reduction in the electricity fees was better than the prices remaining at its current levels, but she had hoped that the cut would be greater.

When asked about the possible increase in a fees arising from a change in the fuel mix in the future, Tse said she welcomed a reduction in emissions, bearing in mind the interests of the next generation.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.