Consumers will need to dig deeper into their pockets to cover their electricity bills as of next month after the government yesterday approved a hike in electrical energy charges by as much as 6.5 percent. The Public Power Corporation (PPC) said, however, that most residents, or about 86 percent of its customers, will see only a 3-percent increase as of September 1. The tariff hikes are tied to consumption rates. Low-consumption households, those using between 1,000 to 2,000 kilowatts every four months, will pay 3 percent more for their energy bills. Those hit harder will be high-consumption customers using more than 4,400 kilowatts, who will pay 6.5 percent more for their electricity. PPC said that the price hikes are the lowest in the European Union. «The adjustment to the prices will cover a part of the cost arising from higher fuel prices and the application of the Kyoto agreement, which means that PPC is obliged to spend money in order to have the right to emit carbon dioxide,» PPC said.