Fuel oil prices are falling, so why are tariffs still high?

Below is TOC columnist Leong Sze Hian’s letter to the Today newspaper, published on 10 December 2008:

I REFER to the reduction of the electricity tariff by 25 per cent in January.

According to the Energy Market Authority’s (EMA’s) chart on fuel oil price versus the low tension tariff, the tariff was $22.62 in January this year when fuel oil was $96.64.

Since the tariff is pegged to fuel oil, why is the tariff for January next year, at $22.93, higher than that in January this year, when fuel oil is now lower at $92.99 compared to $96.64 in January this year?

This means that year-on-year, despite a 4-per-cent fall in fuel oil, the tariff increased by 1 per cent. So, is the tariff pegged to fuel oil or not?

The 25-per-cent decrease is relative to October’s 21-per-cent increase.

Against the tariff of $23.88 in April, the decrease is only 4 per cent, and is still 1 per cent higher than January’s $22.62.

With all the Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebates to help Singaporeans, why has the number of households in arrears increased from 3,600 in 2006 to 5,090 in October, and the number on the Pay As You Use (PAYU) meter scheme also increased from 12,200 in December 2006 to 13,243?



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