China’s retail electricity prices will rise starting Wednesday, their first increase in more than a year as the country prepares to battle its worst power shortage since 2004, Bloomberg reported. According to a National Development and Reform Commission official, power prices for industrial users in 15 provinces will be boosted by an average US$2.58 per megawatt-hour. Those paid by residential users will remain unchanged. China will also ban local governments from providing power tariff discounts to manufacturers and reinforce monitoring of coal prices. The price increase, the first since November 2009, “will help power producers and give them more incentive to maximize production amid the power shortage,” said Zhang Long, a utility analyst at Essence Securities.