3 June, 2023


Left Discourse “The Electric Shock In The Electricity Tariff”

Left Discourse

“The Electric Shock

in the Electricity Tariff”


Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya

(Expert on Energy)

Prof. Kumar David

(Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering)

Thursday, 30 May 2013

at 4.30 pm

 at the

N.M. Perera Centre

106, Dr. N.M. Perera Mawatha, Colombo 8.

 You are cordially invited.

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Tilak & Kumar, what have you got to treat the symptoms??????????
    No point displaying credentials if you people can not submit a blue print for the ills.

  • 0

    I have few points

    (a)What is the prime motive of the government to raise the tariff? To me this is to recover the losses incurred over the years due corruption and commissions

    (b)Has a power shortage to meet the base load or to meet the peak demand.

    (c)What is the hydro capacity?

    (d) How much energy is purchased from privately own generators at what time spans of the day?

  • 0

    Dear Prof & Doc

    1. Do u know of any other country that uses the strange (to me, utterly unfair) system of charging for ALL units of electricity consumed by the rate applied to the highest bracket their consumption has entered? (I mean someone consuming 182 units gets charged for all 182 at tariff for 180-220 or wotever. Instead of their first 30 charged at (a), their next lot charged at (b), etc.)

    2. When was this method first applied in Sri Lanka?

    3. What is going to happen to that famous thing: “Sri Lankan hospitality”, if an overnight guest’s fan sends the household into a higher bracket!!

    4. Please can you see that the CEB (LOOK how they have kept the word “Ceylon” & not changed it…it wd cost a bomb in all their records, letter & bill heads etc to ahve done so, but see how our road names are changed at the drop of a hat, & all residents / shops / restaurants / band branches & other businessness are expected to carry out this expensive & highly inconvenient adjustment suddenly. In fact, one Bank Branch that moved up Havelock Rd to nestle in a religious cultural centre 2 years ago, STILL hasn’t addressed this problem…. And I hear people in the same road have problems filling the Address space in forms nowadays because it cant accommodate Sr S……J….M…. etc..

    Let me get back to my point, tho.
    Please ask the CEB to publish a chart of consumption & final charge, so that consumers can easily check the amount their bills give for the number of units they apparently have consumed.


    If the Meter Reader uses a calculation, then CEB, PLEASE PUBLISH THAT.

    • 0

      I though Kumar david was an emeritus professor or Peradeniya or Colombo or possibly Hong Kong?

      Why don’t you (Ms. Fonseka) set up a solar panel and hook it to your fans, so that when you have guests, the fan will not cost you anything and you have nothing to do with the CEB crooks?

      click to see how:


      The high tariffs for the high-end users are justified, because, look at all the hotels which charge 100-200 dollars per night (international prices) who should be made to pay international electricity tariffs.

      Why should ordinary consumers subsidize these hotel magnates or textile magnates?

      Also, high tariffs TEACH PEOPLE to consume in moderation.

      The petrol and diesel prices in Sri lanka have have become international prices long ago. It is inevitable that power prices align with diesel prices because now we use a lot of diesel in the power plants that were set up since the end of Mahaweli.

      I hope this Cotta road meeting proceedings get recorded and a summary be presented in these columns? I am unable to attend the meeting.

      • 0

        Kautilya – wd love to have/be able to afford a solar panel but now live, alas, in a flat (so needs lots of people to agree–failed so far) after being forced out of a SMALL, low-energy consumption house built around all the trees that were on the plot. NO glass windows, only lattice. Designed by a young architect about 35 years ago as his first assignment when he graduated. Naturally ventilated. No air conditioners (anyway we even removed the ones which were in this flat when we came into it never use them. But terrible noise pollution all day from a famous antique business, making much of its products with electric saw, drills, lathes etc., driving near neighbours crazy…& damaging nerves in my ears. Sadly, we upped from the house of our dreams just outside Colombo, to a flat inside….& who set up shop just around the corner some years later, but the same antique dealer. now much richer no doubt as his main customers used to be diplomats. Visits by the CEA to his work site advising him about super high noise levels, fell on deaf ears….his, at that time…mine, now.

        But to get back to power consumption. Wonder what you mean, Kautiliya by HIGH End Users. If 3 people inhabit one home, never use an iron or an electric kettle/mixers etc. Only very very occasionally a microwave to heat a meal, CFL lights, a computer, fans, a fridge, & watch an occasional DVD on TV, but still cant get below 220, & therefore have to pay pretty hefty bills, would you consider them high end users?

        I tried your site address but cdnt reach what u promise.

        • 0

          Kautaliya and Ms Fonseka pardon me for a lonish intervention but I shall try to be brief.

          1. From the CEB’s point of view solar power is, not yet, a starter. To give a back of the envelope estimate, it may cost about Rs 30 per unit; double the coal power price. And there are a lot of technical complications – what to do at night; what to do when it’s cloudy? This requires storge, or duplication of ordinary plant to run at these time – all adding to cost.

          2. Then there is the question of land. Again a ball park number; when all three Norochcholi units are running it’s 900MW and say 5500 billion units a year if they work properly. Never mind the numbers if you are not technical, think that this amount of MW needs about 10,000 acres in the Vannie or Hambantota for a solar power plant. This is about as much as 5 to 10 top tea estates like Dansinane and Sheen put together.

          3. The big-consumer point of view is quite different. Every unit you consume above 180 per month costs you Rs 58.80. If you are a richer, bigger householder consuming say 500 units a month, by using a solar panel to bring CEB power down to 180 and making 320 in your solar panel you save Rs 18,816 (58.8×320) a month. That is about Rs 2.25 lakhs a year. There are contractors who may provide you with an installation for about Rs 1.5 million to provide 320 units a month – I am not sure. This is 6 year payback, then money for jam! Anybody belonging to this income bracket should investigate the option.

          • 0

            5500 million units NOT billion. Sorry.

  • 0

    I thank the Socialist Study Circle for the award of an Emeritus Professorship. I am sure it is more valuable than one award by the University! Anyway, let’s note the correction.

    Dear Ms Manel Fonseka I have written two lengthy articles on some of the points you have raised – especially the Moronic Tariff System which is your point number 1. Can you please do me the honour of searching through Colombo Telegraph of 28 April and 19 May where you will find the articles.

    • 0

      Thank u – will look for yr articles – MF

  • 0

    Sorry, Prof. David but we know that you are a Professor for Life at Hong Kong University. Is that not the equivalent of Professor Emeritus?

    • 0

      I believe this David holds a lifetime profesorship at the South China University of Science and Technology not at Hong Kong University. In the great and glorious Motherland with our 5000 years of unbroken culture we do not use Latinised terms like Emeritus!

      • 0

        Come on, Prof. Kumar David believes in devolution and self-determination. So Hong-Kong is NOT South China, it is separate from China, and stands as HONG KONG. and the same goes for Taiwan and Tibet.

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