Power regulator-Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has today conducted an annual public hearing aimed at getting views as the process to determine 2023 power tariffs takes shape.
Under the law, ERA is among others mandated to set power tariffs but the authority conducts public hearings to make the process more transparent.
ERA Chief Executive Officer Eng. Ziria Waako Tibalwa informed the meeting at Imperial Royale hotel that the Authority received applications for tariff review for 2023 from five companies including UEGCL, UETCL, UEDCL, Umeme and Eskom Uganda Ltd.
She said the public hearing gives an opportunity for the public to participate in tariff review process and to make their views and suggestions on the applications.
Meanwhile, ERA board chairperson Dr. Sarah Wasagali Kanaabi explained that before coming up with tariffs, ERA takes into consideration the reasonableness of the costs, ensure transparency in formulation and review process, consideration of government policies and any other matters among others.
“This is the opportunity for the public to participate in the process and it should be used appropriately. However, it is the board that will take the final decision” she said.
Speaker after speaker however, the meeting was punctuated with lamentations about rampant vandalism of electricity infrastructure. Dr. Wasagali described this act as an economic sabotage.
“This act takes the country backward” she noted.
Jickens Miiro, acting finance manager at UETCL, described vandalism as a nightmare to the company.
“When one tower falls, it goes down with five others. Vandalism is the biggest nightmare we are facing” he told the meeting, but however, said as part of the solution to curb it, the company was going to resort to IT or tower protection system to monitor the infrastructure.
“The challenge is however, do we have the capacity to swiftly respond if this is detected? He said.
Other companies like Umeme also reported the same problem and called for concerted effort to curb the vice.
ERA a few days ago launched a grand training program for security personnel across the country on new provisions of the law to curb vandalism.
Watch this space for what each company is demanding from ERA as it embarks on 2023 tariff review!