No electricity tariff increases for Erongo

Consumers in the region have received some reprieve from Erongo Red which announced that electricity prices remain as is for now

04 August 2020 | Energy

Fessor Mbango; Erongo RED CEO; “It only requires behavioural change to use electricity efficiently."

Walvis Bay



Erongo RED announced a weighted average tariff adjustment of -1.6% in compliance with approval from the Electricity Control Board (ECB).

This is the second year that the regional electricity distributor has not increased tariffs for residential customers.

“NamPower announced a 0% tariff adjustment in April 2020. Subsequently, Erongo RED submitted an application to the Electricity Control Board (ECB) for a -1.6% tariff adjustment for 2020/2021. The ECB reviewed the submission and decided to grant a weighted average tariff decrease of -1.6%,” said Erongo RED chief executive Fessor Mbango.

The adjustment is applicable to the introduction of the single season tariff and the change in the time of use (TOU) schedule.

Business customers will also see a 0% to a -1.6% reduction based on their usage while all other customers (residential, pensioners and institutional) will see a zero impact on their monthly bill as tariffs remains unchanged.

The Electricity Control Board (ECB) levy will remain unchanged for 12 months, starting 1 July 2020 to 31 June 2021.

The ministry of mines and energy has not pronounced itself on the National Energy Fund (NEF) Levy for the 2020/2021 financial year yet.

Factors

Mbango said that before Erongo RED submitted its proposal to the ECB, various factors were taken into account.

“We considered the 0% tariff adjustment by NamPower and the impact it will have on customers, concerns from the community, concerns raised by the consumer liaison committee, envisaged infrastructure development, electrifications and operational cost.”

The regional electricity distributor also took into account the current economic situation and the impact of electricity cost on its commercial and industrial customers, and the impact of Covid-19 on industries, business and residential consumers.

“We looked into all possible ways to ensure that we cushion the impact of tariff adjustments to the customers and at the same time ensuring the company’s sustainability. Namibia has experienced slow economic activities and the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation, resulting in the disruption in business activities in the region. Many commercial activities have slowdown during the last four months. This is evident in the reduction of 6% in the units purchased and sold from March 2020 - June 2020 in comparison to the same period in 2019,” said Mbango.

Furthermore, Mbango emphasised that Erongo RED remains committed to providing subsidized tariffs to registered pensioners up to 40 Amperage. There are currently 6 495 pensioners registered on the subsidized tariff.

“The tariffs for the pensioners who are being subsidized will remain unchanged for the 2020/2021 period. Thus, we would like to appeal to all our pensioners to visit the nearest office to re-register so that they continue to benefit from the subsidized tariff.”

Lifeline tariff

Low income members of the community can apply for the lifeline tariff which is applicable to domestic customers with up to 20 amperage connection. There are currently 2 198 consumers connected to the lifeline tariff.

Erongo RED will only cover the initial cost to downgrade to 20 amperage. If a customer later changes his/her preference and would like to upgrade, he/she will have to carry the cost.

The Social Tariff Policy was also approved by the board. The following criteria will be used to determine those who qualify for this subsidy scheme.

The pensioner subsidy is curbed at 40 amperage and the lifeline support is curbed at 20 amperage. Persons applying for these subsidies should submit an identity document, pensioner’s registration card, proof of ownership as well as the rental agreement and consent letter of the landlord.

Different property valuation rates are applicable for residents of the various towns that want to apply. The property value should be less than N$300 000 for Walvis Bay, less than N$150 000 for Arandis and less than N$100 000 for Usakos, Henties Bay, Karibib, Omaruru and Uis.

Mbango said that a person can comfortably manage with the 20 amperage with all basic household appliances connected. He encouraged customers to familiarize themselves with the load simulator on Erongo RED’s website. “It only requires behavioural change to use electricity efficiently. When using it sparingly, you will spend less on electricity.”

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