The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is considering offering free electricity to local communities and villages around power plants nationwide, in line with an assignment from Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijarawong. ERC chairman Samerjai Suksumek said relevant state agencies are brainstorming to create a free power bill scheme this month, targeted at people who live near power plants. The scheme will be subsidised by cash from the Power Development Fund (PDF), overseen by the ERC. The PDF was set up by the Energy Industry Act of 2007. All power plants, public and private, must pay a levy to the PDF. The levies collected by the fund come from 90 power plants across the country. The levy is set at one satang per kilowatt-hour for gas-fired power plants, 1.5 satang for oil and two satang for coal, hydro, biomass and waste-to-energy.