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ZESCO applies to raise tariffs by 75%

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has confirmed that state power utility ZESCO has applied to increase its electricity tariffs by an average of 75 percent.

The proposed agreement is with effect from May 1st 2017.

In its application, ZESCO wants to increase tariffs in two phases starting with 50 percent on 1st May and a further 25 percent in September 2017.

This was confirmed by ERB Director of Consumer and Public Affairs Agnes Phiri.

“Following the ZESCO application, the ERB will now proceed to consider the application tariff increase in line with the provisions of the Law that governs electricity tariff determination, particularly as specified in the Electricity Act, Chapter 435 of the Laws of Zambia, as amended by Act No. 21 of 2003 (the Electricity Act),” Mrs Phiri said.

She said the ERB shall, therefore, be receiving written submissions from the public in view of the ZESCO application within the next 30 days as stipulated by Law.

“Further, the ERB shall convene a public hearing to consider submissions from members of the public, if at all any would have been received within the 30-day period,” she said.

“With regard to the mining tariffs, the ERB shall as it has always done, approve Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) that have been agreed by ZESCO and its mining customers. The PPAs specify at what tariff individual mining customers buy electricity from ZESCO.”

Mrs Phiri stated that in August 2015, ZESCO had applied for tariff increase averaging 187 percent for all customer categories except the mines, which was granted by the ERB effective December 2015.

“However, following consultations with key stakeholders, in January 2016 ZESCO suspended the implementation of the tariff awarded by ERB. The withdrawal of the ‘new’ tariffs was based on the need to allow for a smooth transition from the old tariffs to new ones,” she said.

She added that ZESCO notified the public that it would reapply for a tariff increase once consultations had been concluded.

“Therefore, the new application comes after conclusion of that consultation process,” she said.

Source: Lusaka Times

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