Date
18 January 2017
Experts call for liberalization of the electricity market, which is currently a duopoly by CLP Power (left) and Hongkong Electric. Photos: HKEJ
Experts call for liberalization of the electricity market, which is currently a duopoly by CLP Power (left) and Hongkong Electric. Photos: HKEJ

Hong Kong urged to open up electricity market

Hong Kong should open up the electricity market to competition to improve service and reduce prices, experts said.

Speaking at a forum on competition in the electricity market, Samuel Chan Ka-yan, chairman of competition policy committee of the Consumer Council, suggested that competition be introduced at the stage of power production, RTHK reported.

The latest technologies to tap renewable sources of energy should be adopted in generating electricity, Chan said.

Rose Webb, senior executive director of the Competition Commission, called for the establishment of an independent consultation body to study the electricity market after market liberalization.

Eugene Toh, director of policy at Singapore’s Energy Market Authority, said like Hong Kong, Singapore faces difficulties in developing renewable energy sources and depends much on imports and fossil fuel for electricity.

But Toh noted that since the electricity market was opened up, Singaporean consumers have been enjoying lower prices and greater choices of energy plans.

There are now six companies providing electricity to the city state.

Gilly Wong Fung-han, chief executive of the Consumer Council, expressed hope that Scheme of Control agreements with the two electricity providers in Hong Kong will be reviewed to improve the terms and regulations for the benefit of local consumers.

The council has suggested that the utilities’ rate of return be lowered from 9.99 percent to between 5.25 and 6 percent, and subject to review every five years.

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