The government said during the interim review that it aimed to negotiate with the two firms to amend the agreements, by lowering their permitted returns, requiring them to share fuel costs in the event of energy crisis and review the carrot and stick mechanism for power outage incidents.
CLP’s last five-year plan amounted to expenditure of HK$52.9 billion with HK Electric at HK$26.58 billion.
The development plans are a key part of the scheme of control regime, which ties the companies’ returns to investments in electricity supply, energy efficiency and reliability.
CLP and HK Electric are allowed to earn an annual 8 per cent return on their average net fixed assets for that year. Fuel costs are borne by consumers.
CLP, which serves customers in the New Territories, Kowloon and most outlying islands, said more than HK$200 million would be set aside from the CLP Community Energy Saving Fund in 2024 for a series of programmes to help the needy and promote energy conservation.
It said out of the HK$70 million reserved for low-income families next year, HK$50 million would be used to provide a tariff subsidy of HK$600 to 50,000 elderly singles and couples, low-income families and people with disabilities.
“Although Hong Kong society has returned to normal after the pandemic, grass-roots families still face great challenges,” chief corporate development officer Quince Chong said.
The firm said 20,000 subdivided-flat households would also receive a tariff allowance of HK$1,000.
It said about 580,000 households with low electricity consumption and users enjoying a concessionary tariff for the elderly would receive a HK$100 electronic voucher next year which could be spent in around 1,000 shops and restaurants.
A total of HK$30 million would also be laid aside to subsidise small and medium-sized enterprises to install more energy efficient lighting and air conditioning.
HK Electric, which supplies consumers on Hong Kong and Lamma islands, said 10,000 households with financial needs and those who joined its concessionary tariff schemes would receive a set of HK$200 cash vouchers for buying daily necessities next year.
“Though Hong Kong’s economy is recovering, there are still many challenges ahead, with low-income families suffering the most,” HK Electric customer services general manager Raymond Choi said.
“HK Electric will offer financial relief while encouraging them to save energy and lead a low-carbon lifestyle.”
The firm said a full subsidy capped at HK$200,000 per premises would be given to NGOs and schools to install solar photovoltaic systems from next year and they would be able to enjoy the feed-in tariff.
It said it would continue to provide one-off relief of HK$1,000 to 1,200 subdivided-flat residents to cover their electricity charges, as well as subsidies capped at HK$15,000 per subdivided flat or HK$60,000 per flat before subdivision for the tenants or owners to rewire or install its tariff meters.
“But compared to the increase in fuel charges, if you ask whether the measures can help them a great deal, I wouldn’t say so. But it is understood that these suppliers are commercial companies,” she said.