Power regulator-Electricity Regulatory Authority [ERA] has announced consumer [end-user] power tariffs for the last [4th] quarter of the year 2023. The quarter runs from October to December 2023.
According to the tariffs to be charged by service provider-Umeme Limited, the tariffs for this new quarter are similar to those that consumers paid in the 3rd quarter running from July to September.
In the announced tariffs, domestic consumers will continue to enjoy a small figure of Shs250 for the first [lifeline] 15 units. Beyond this, the consumer will be charged Shs805 for units between 16-80 and those who will use between 80 units to 150units will be charged Shs412 while those using above 150units will pay Shs805.
As for commercial consumers, they will pay Shs611.8 [average], Shs807.5 [peak], Shs615.5 [shoulder] and Shs367.4 during off-peak. The large industrial users will be charged Shs384.4 [average], Shs519.4 [peak], Shs385.3 [shoulder] and Shs243.6 [off-peak]. Medium industrial consumers will continue to pay Shs461.8 [average], Shs636.4 [peak], Shs466.3 [shoulder] and Shs244.9 [off-peak].
These figures that have been released today by Chief Executive Officer Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako, indicate that Extra Large Industrial consumers will foot Shs325 per unit [average], Shs429.5 [peak], Shs326.6 [shoulder] and as low as Shs233.3 during off-peak hours. The street lighting has also been maintained at Shs370.
Under sections 10 and 75 of the Electricity Act, ERA is mandated to determine and approve power tariffs to be charged by service providers-in this case Umeme Limited. According to Eng. Ziria, the approved tariffs were determined in consideration of macro-economic factors, international prices for fuel, Exchange rate of Uganda shillings against the US dollar, inflation, Consumer Price Index, Energy Generation Mix and costs approved by the authority.
DOLLAR VS UGANDA SHILLINGS
For example, as at August 31 2023 [baseline], the Uganda Shilling had gained weight against the US dollar from Shs3738.33 to Shs3719.04 as at August 31 this year. This therefore represents an appreciation of 0.52% from the 2023 Base Exchange Rate.
Under the same month, the prices for crude oil had also reduced by 2.67% selling at USD87.33 per barrel down from USD89.73 which was used to determine the Annual Base Tariffs.
According to Eng. Ziria, the electricity demand is expected to grow at an annual rate of about 9.14% by the close of this year. ERA projected that the total energy purchase by UETCL is expected to increase from 5490.1GWh projected for 2022 to a mega 5992.22GWh in this year 2023. Indeed, in the first quarter, UETCL purchased more power from 1444.1 GWh to 1488.8GWh for 3rd quarter representing a growth rate of 12.38%.
As for the consumer price index, this increased from 125.48 as reported by UBOS in November 2022 to 126.84 in August 2023[1.08%]. Other factors that were put into consideration by ERA include the fact that Karuma hydro power dam is coming on board possibly this 4th quarter. Already, the four units producing 400MW at this plant are expected to be tested in this quarter and this will form part of the 2023 energy generation mix. We have been informed that what remains to be fixed is evacuation infrastructure which is said to be still at a minimal level. However, efforts are being made to restore the [vandalized] Karuma-Kawanda line by mid this month.
Similarly, at the beginning of the year, ERA made projections in respect of growth in demand for electricity. This projection, we are told, is not yet realized fully, but the Authority believes that this will be fully achieved now that the festive season is knocking on the door.
“We have seen growth but not yet to the level we projected at the beginning of the year. However, most manufacturers are preparing for the festive season. There’s ramping up for power not only for domestic users but also manufacturers. The demand will increase during the festive season and we’re optimistic that the projections will be realized” said ERA Director for Corporate and Consumer Affairs Julius Wandera.