Amid rising petrol prices and threats of interest rate hikes, there’s one ballooning cost that solar energy users don’t need to worry about: increasing electricity prices.
To the dismay of householders and businesses alike, Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) are in discussions that could result in yet another hike in electricity prices – by as much as 12.69%.
While this comes as no surprise, it is still painful news for a country where a constrained grid and unstable energy supply is restraining economic potential. This proposed rise will be in addition to the +300% increase in electricity prices since 2007. Despite the hefty increases in the cost of energy, Eskom is still in financial trouble and is facing a R225 billion ($20.2 billion) revenue gap. It is trying to avoid a credit rating downgrade by presenting a convincing financial turnaround plan to ratings agencies, the bulk of which will come from tariffs on consumers’ bills.