CLP Power (中電) and Hongkong Electric (港燈 ) have been operating like a duopoly for years, unfairly overburdening consumers with price rises while being allowed to earn risk-free profits, the Consumer Council (消費者委員會) said.
The watchdog said the existing method of regulation through the Scheme of Control Agreements (《管制計畫協議》), which expires in 2018, needs to be reformed.
In its 170-page report released last Thursday, the council said the existing regulations will not be flexible enough to adapt to the new environmental policy supporting emission reduction over the next 30 years.
Chief trade practices officer Victor Hung Tin-yau (熊天佑) said under the current scheme, “the two power companies are allowed to earn a high risk-free profit while passing on business risks to consumers to an undue degree”. The scheme has “low transparency and lacks the engagement of consumers”.
The study was undertaken with the advice of an expert international group formed to look into the experience of electricity regulatory reform in the mainland, Britain (英國), Australia (澳洲), Germany (德國) and France (法國).
The report also suggests using diversified energy such as power station fuel, natural gas, renewables, nuclear and biomass, which can reduce emissions of greenhouse gas.
An expert said the cost-effectiveness of having renewables depends on local resources. “Hong Kong has its own resources; some are good and some are not so good.”
(The Standard, 5 December 2014)