Hong Kong’s only two power providers have been questioned over the highest annual electricity price hike in at least a decade, with one pro-Beijing lawmaker suggesting that the government should explore joining the Greater Bay Area electricity grid to avoid rising energy costs.
CLP Power will see a year-on-year rate increase of 19.8 per cent in January next year, while HK Electric’s rate will increase by 45.6 per cent. That is equal to a 6.4 per cent increase from CLP and a 5.5 per cent rise from HK Electric from November rates.
CLP Power and HK Electric are the sole electricity providers in Hong Kong, with the former providing power for Kowloon, New Territories, and the majority of the outlying islands, and the latter powering Hong Kong Island, Ap Lei Chau and Lamma Island.
Greenpeace, in a statement published on Tuesday, said that the government should set energy saving targets and policies, as well as develop renewable energy, in order to reduce the economic burden borne by residents.
“Climate change is imminent, increasing the proportion of local clean energy electricity generation, such as developing renewable energy, is not only a desirable path, in the long run it can even stabilise electricity bills, and reduce the impact of fluctuation in international energy prices,” said Tom Ng, a Greenpeace campaigner.
According to CLP, the hike in the city’s energy costs stem from a global increase in the price of fuel, exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Poming Chan, a spokesperson for the Democratic Party, said that while it was understandable that global energy inflation would impact Hong Kong, the rate increases by the two power providers were still too high.
Chan said that the two companies should limit costs in order to decrease the basic charge and “ride out the storm together with citizens.”
Chan also urged the government to consider relaunching the subsidy scheme for non-residential users in order to alleviate the financial burdens of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Greater Bay Area Power Grid
Pro-Beijing lawmaker Elizabeth Quat said in a statement on Tuesday that the government should consider joining the Greater Bay Area power grid in order to reduce rising electricity costs in the city. The development of the mainland power grid was improving, Quat said, adding that in the long term it could provide Hong Kong with consistent, clean energy.
“Energy security is an important area in national security, there has to be sufficient electricity supply that it is affordable for enterprises and citizens,” Quat’s statement read.
The Greater Bay Area consists of Hong Kong, Macau and nine major cities in Guangdong province, and aims to further deepen the cooperation between the mainland and the two special administrative regions. The area is expected to support China’s technology innovation and economic development.
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