In southern Africa, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) in Zambia stated that the state-owned electricity utility Zesco should reverse its intended tariff increase for domestic users with effect from the 1st of February.
The Energy and Water Development Minister Dora Siliya confirmed the statement last week following orders from President Edgar Lungu who said the state utility should reverse the intended hike in power bills to enable affordability among low-income domestic consumers, reports Times of Zambia.
Cost-reflective electricity rates
In December 2015, ERB endorsed Zesco’s electricity rate hike for the different customer categories from an average of 37 ngwee ($6 cents) to 1.13 kwatcha ($10.35 cents) per kilowatt-hour.
After the ERB approval, residential customers witnessed a fixed rate of 0.51 kwatcha revised upwards from 100 units to 300 units per month.
Siliya said: “Zesco will make a fresh application to the ERB and the revised tariffs are expected to come into effect on February 1, 2016.
“The revision is merely intended to make cost-reflective electricity tariffs reasonable for domestic users.”
800MW additional power scheduled
In other news, the Zambian government has projected to spend $1.2 billion in efforts to mitigate the country’s lack of power supply.
Siliya highlighted that the government plans to import 100MW of electricity from EDM in Mozambique, 200MW from Karpowership of Turkey as well as procuring and distributing of energy saving light bulbs across the country to the value of $20 million.
She further revealed that the Zambian government is this week expected to sign contracts for an additional 200MW emergency power from four main inland thermal power plants for Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces.
“It is planned that this power will be availed as of the first quarter of this year and the ministry is also exploring the possibility of another inland generation power plant for North-Western Province.
“Government is also expected to award contracts for the procurement of 300MW from solar power plants, which is expected to come on line by October 2016,” she concluded.