Sri Lanka tops South Asia with highest household electricity charges

Sri Lanka stands at the forefront of South Asia with the highest electricity charges for households, according to a recent analysis published on Public, the country’s leading economic insights platform. 

The study conducted by Verité Research, released this week, reveals that Sri Lankan households bear 2.5 to 3 times more electricity costs compared to their counterparts in other South Asian nations.

The analysis scrutinized the electricity tariffs for households consuming 100, 200, or 300 units of electricity at the beginning of 2024. Notably, the calculation solely considered the charges imposed by the supplier, excluding additional government taxes such as the Social Security Levy, which is unique to Sri Lanka.

While Pakistan trails behind Sri Lanka with the second-highest electricity charges in the region, the disparities are significant. Sri Lankan households consuming 100 units face charges 50% higher than those in Pakistan, while those consuming 300 units confront a staggering 97% difference.

The escalation in Sri Lanka’s electricity charges is attributed to the country’s commitment under its International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, stipulating that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) must recoup its entire costs through a combination of consumer charges and Treasury subsidies.

Despite a tariff reduction scheduled for this month (February 2024), which is expected to trim electricity charges by a modest 4% or less, the impact on consumers will be minimal. Consequently, Sri Lankan households are poised to endure the highest electricity prices across the South Asian region for the foreseeable future.