Zambia Energy Regulator Receives Submissions On Electricity Tariff Hike

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Zambia’s energy regulator on Wednesday said it had started receiving submissions from stakeholders on the intention of the country’s power utility to hike electricity tariffs.

Zesco Limited applied for a 75-per cent increase in electricity tariffs last month for 2017, which is, however, subject to authorisation by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB).

The increase is to be implemented in two phases this year, with 50 per cent effective on May 1 and an additional 25 per cent on September 1.

But the energy regulator is mandated by law to obtain views from stakeholders on the proposed tariff increase.

Agnes Phiri, Director for Consumer and Public Affairs at ERB, said the board has started receiving public submissions and urged citizens to lodge their written submissions. The deadline for the submissions is April 24.

The regulator will then hold public hearing where submitters will be accorded an opportunity to present their cases.

The planned increase in electricity tariffs has raised eyebrows from stakeholders in the southern African nation who feel it will only worsen the cost of living.

But the government has defended the decision, saying the power utility was making losses because its electricity production was higher than the revenue being generated from the sale of electricity to its customers.

In 2015, the power utility made an application to the energy regulator for an average tariff increment of 187 per cent.

It was awarded but its implementation was suspended when the government asked for a gradual enforcement to avoid economic shocks.

Source: PM News

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