Electricity tariffs to increase

WINDHOEK: NamPower will increase bulk electricity tariffs to 9,53 per cent as from 01 July this year.

This means an effective bulk tariff increase from N.dollars 1,17 to N.dollars 1,28 per kilowatt per hour (kwh).

The Electricity Control Board (ECB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Foibe Namene announced on Wednesday that the ECB has approved NamPower’s application for a tariff increase to cover its operating costs, keep the lights on and to fulfil its financial obligations.

NamPower originally requested an effective bulk tariff increase of 13,20 per cent to cover incremental costs of electricity supply imports and local generating thermal power stations (Van Eck, Paratus and Anixas.)

The company requested an increase from N.dollars 1,17 to N.dollars 1,32 per KWH to meet its service delivery costs and for the tariff to remain cost reflective.

Namene noted that the approved effective tariff adjustment of 9,53 per cent for the financial year 2015/2016 is intended to ensure that NamPower can sustainably provide for the future electricity needs of the nation.

The increase is applicable to NamPower’s bulk customers, such as regional electricity distributors (REDs), local authorities, regional councils and mines.

Respective bulk customers and distributors will individually apply to the ECB for tariff increases that will be applicable to their end consumers.

The ECB has been granting NamPower real tariff increases from 2005 onwards to ensure that cost reflective tariff levels were reached by 2011/2012 and subsequently sustained beyond that period.

Namene indicated that the substantial shortage of energy in the southern African region at this stage is putting pressure on energy tariffs not only in Namibia, but in all countries throughout the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

“The ECB is cognisant of the fact that a stable supply of electricity and the security of that supply are crucial to power the economic growth going into the future, but it is also aware that tariff increases have an impact that is felt by all,” she said.

Namene added that tariff increases mean rise in the cost of living and production, and has the potential to jeopardise job creation and poverty alleviation.

Therefore, she said, the ECB, as the regulator, takes a long-term view and ensures that its decisions are made on the backdrop of tough conditions prevailing in the economy at all times.