Fresh power tariff start next week

THE state Energy and Water Regulatory Agency (EWURA) will announce next week the new power tariff for the year 2016-17 for different categories of consumers.

EWURA, which is a regulatory body entrusted with the job of fixing electricity tariff rates for all kinds of consumers has already completed public hearings with stakeholders after Tanesco (Tanzania Electric Supply Company) filed a petition seeking an increase of around 18 per cent.

According to information obtained by this paper, EWURA has held a number of meetings with key stakeholders to deliberate on the proposal filed by Tanesco in October. "I cannot dictate whether the regulator will okay or deny Tanesco's request to raise power tariffs," Ewura Communications and Public Relations Manager, Mr Titus Kaguo, said.

"What I understand is that the Ewura Board of Directors will meet on Tuesday (December 27) to review the power tariff proposal." Mr Kaguo declined to give more details insisting that the matter was at top level for decision making.

Records show that early this year, Tanesco proposed a tariff reduction by about 7.9 per cent but the authority granted a minimum power reduction of 1 per cent, but also scrapping off service charges to all lower power consumers.

Tanesco's decision was based on the natural gas discovery but Ewura Director General Engineer Felix Ngamlagosi urged that a proper cost-analysis be commissioned first. Four months later, Tanesco applied for a tariff hike clarifying that the new charges will not affect ordinary consumers.

The initiative also sought to protect the national utility from serious financial loss owing to increasing oil prices at the global market. Retail prices for all petroleum products in December increased by 29/-, 78/- and 68/- per litre for petrol, diesel and kerosene respectively.

An official in the ministry of energy and minerals said the regulator is likely to wait until the price of natural gas is resolved to decide on the new power tariff.

Mr Kaguo admitted the public hearing were held in Dodoma, Mwanza, Mbeya and Arusha last month as per section 19 (2) (b) of Ewura Act Cap (414). However, some electricity consumers said they will be surprised should the regulator move ahead to approve Tanesco's plea.

"Life is extremely tough now, whether a businessman or not things are not good, the government should consider the current situation and forget on hiking electricity," Ms Marium John, a petty trader in Dar es Salaam told the ‘Sunday News’.

Mr Josias Ebeneza, a Dar es Salaam based resident asked the need for the government to hike electricity at a time when it has been preaching industrial development.

"We have natural gas ... this is the only time that the government should make good use of the gas and stop over burdening taxpayers," he urged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *