Nersa grants Eskom 18.65% tariff increase

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The National Energy Regulator (Nersa) on Thursday granted Eskom an 18.65% tariff increase. The power utility had applied for a 32% tariff increase.

Eskom made its multi-year price determination revenue application last year to the regulator.

The increases will be effective from the first of April this year. Regulator Member for electricity Regulation, Nhlanhla Gumede says the decision to increase tariffs was a tough one given the financial constrains consumers are facing. However, rolling blackouts and the difficult operating environment that Eskom is currently facing an increase was mandatory.

“We need to safeguard the need of the current and future users and we need to try and achieve efficient. We need to try to achieve efficient, and effective and sustainable development of the electricity supply infrastructure. We need to facilitate investments both in the supply and the demand side we need to promote universal access to electricity. We need to promote competitiveness and customer and end user choice. Importantly, we need to facilitate a balance between the interest of consumers and that of end users, licensees and investors in the supply industry and the public.”

Nersa announces decision on Eskom tariff increase:

Earlier this week independent economic and energy analyst Tshepo Kgadima said the electricity tariff has increased by a whooping 753% over the last 10 years.

“Nersa is no longer an independent Energy Regulator as stipulated in the relevant statue. The politicians have for a very long time been leaning on Nersa to grant tariff increases that can never be substantiated. In the last 10 years electricity tariffs in South Africa have increased by a whopping 753%. There is no economy anywhere that can remain competitive that can continue to industrialise with such electricity tariff increases.”

Meanwhile, CSIR energy researcher Monique Le Roux says Eskom needs the extra income to recover their costs and also add new generation capacity online

“Very much the expectation would be that the tariffs would increase because there are limited options from Eskom’s side to recover their cost. There is government support that they can receive which we know is limited then they can recover some of their costs from municipalities in terms of some of their debts that is owed to them. At the moment its not good news in terms of supply and demand because the customers are going to pay more for what they are receiving and they are not going to receive more electricity.”

Stage 6 rolling blackouts

Stage 6 rolling blackouts have been implemented continuously from four on Wednesday afternoon until further notice.

The power utility says 11 generators amounting to 5 084MW of capacity suffered breakdowns since Tuesday morning.

These were a unit each at the Camden, Duvha, Grootvlei, Hendrina, Kendal, and two units each at Kriel, Majuba and Matla power stations.

Eskom says it will continue to manage the limited emergency generation reserves to supplement generation capacity, and publish a further update as soon as there are any significant changes.

The video below is reporting more on the rolling blackouts