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ZURICH, June 22 (Reuters) - The Swiss government proposed on Thursday cutting the maximum fee that hydropower utilities pay mountainous cantons for water use to 80 Swiss francs ($82.32) per gross kilowatt usage from 110 francs now for a transition period from 2020 to 2022.
The proposal, still subject to parliamentary approval after a comment period running to Oct. 13, also envisions a flexible new model for fee pricing to be introduced from 2023 and whose details will be fixed later.
If approved, the proposed fee cut would save utilities around 150 million Swiss francs a year from 2020 to 2022.
Swiss utilities such as Alpiq Holding, Axpo Holding and BKW are subject to the tax, which now raises 550 million francs a year and which critics say is too high to make hydropower generation profitable.
$1 = 0.9718 Swiss francs Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Rupert Pretterklieber