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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Relief as Ewura reduces electricity tariff charges

Ewura Director General Felix Ngamlagosi

  All customers, regardless of the amount of power purchased and the meter tariff, have been relieved from paying monthly service charge amounting to Sh5,520.
ELECTRICITY consumers will, with effect from yesterday, no longer pay service charge while they will also benefit from a power tariff cut of up to 2.4 per cent.

However, the power tariff reduction will not apply to domestic customers consuming less than 75 units per month, who will be required to pay Sh100 per unit, a zero per cent cut.
On the other hand, residential, small commercial and light industrial users, public lighting and billboards with an average power consumption of up to 7,500 units per month will now be required to pay Sh292 per unit instead of the previous Sh298, a 2 per cent decrease.
Under the low voltage category for low tariff customers power is supplied at single phase (230V) whereas the latter consuming up to 7,500 units being supplied at a voltage of single phase (230 V) as well as three phase (400V).All customers, regardless of the amount of power purchased and the meter tariff, have been relieved from paying monthly service charge amounting to Sh5,520. 
Reduction in power tariffs comes in the wake of a review application to the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) in mid February by Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) seeking the Authority’s approval to cut average power tariff by 1.1 per cent, from Sh. 274.9/kWh to Sh. 272/kWh with effectively from April , this year, including abolition of the monthly service charge.
Tanesco’s request was soon followed by a public hearing to gather views from various stakeholders, culminating in the EWURA board’s approval of the changes last week.
Ewura Director General Felix Ngamlagosi announced the new tariff rates yesterday in Dar es Salaam at a press conference. He said the approved new tariffs imply a decrease in tariff from 1.5 per cent to 2.4 per cent with immediate effect.
The Ewura chief said that fees which had been scrapped included general use and service line application fees amounting to Sh5,000.
He said Tanesco’s tariff application for 2017 had been postponed and would be resubmitted by August 31, this year, for further power tariff decrease averaging 7.9 per cent by January, 2017. 
The director general added that for general use customers, where power is metered at 400V with an average consumption of more than 75,000 units, tariff would be Sh195 per unit from Sh198, a 2.3 per cent reduction.
He named companies with medium voltage connection to part with Sh157 per unit from Sh159, a reduction of 1.5 per cent.
For customers who connected to high voltage, including ZECO, Bulyanhulu Gold Mine and Twiga Cement, the new tariff would be Sh152 per unit from Sh156 per unit previously, a 2.4 per cent decrease.
According to Tanesco, the new proposed tariffs would enable it to finance its operational costs and capital investment programmes while complying with the government policy to ensure the country’s population’s access to power reached 75 per cent by 2025.
However, the general public opinion is that while a tariff reduction was possible in the long term, it was not appropriate to implement in the short term as proposed by Tanesco, 
The public view is that a reduction of tariffs by 1 per cent would not be able to sustain Tanesco’s operational costs.
The Ewura Consumer Consultative Council (CCC) objected to the idea of Tanesco obtaining a loan from the Bank of Tanzania to pay its outstanding debts amounting to Sh.699.5bn, saying at the end of the day customers would be made to pay.
Ewura has also revoked the Tanesco multi-year tariff adjustment order (Order Number 13-007) and its subsequent tariff amendments.
Apart from power tariff reduction, Ewura has also ordered that penalty for consumers tempering with Tanesco metering system, customers shall be stipulated in the electricity regulations.
EWURA is issued by the following condition that Tanesco shall strictly follow the least cost merit order dispatch and submit to the authority.
Added that By 30 June 2016 Tanesco shall submit a revised capital investment programme in line with the allowed depletion and return on its regulatory asset base equivalent to Sh 351.4 bn/-, adding that any change to the plan should get approval from the Authority.
The Ewura chief announced that within six months Tanesco should submit to it an implementation plan for a metering system improvement in the distribution network to enable accurate measurement of energy and determination of system loses.
Also within six months it should come up with strategies for fighting illegal connections and eliminate delays in service provision pursuant to the customer service charter.
Tanesco should also submit to the Authority quarterly reports pertaining to revenue collection from outstanding debtors and payments made to outstanding creditors.

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