Electricity users have a reason to smile after power regulator- Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has announced the 2023 first quarter tariffs in which consumers will enjoy lower charges.
The new tariffs schedule released at Government Media Center, indicates a 1.2% reduction in tariffs compared to the ending forth quarter of 2022.
According to ERA board chairperson Dr. Sarah Wasagali Kanaabi, the tariffs for lifeline 15units for domestic consumers have been maintained at Shs250 per unit just like the ending 4th quarter 2022.
In the first quarter which runs from January 1 to March 30, domestic consumers who use beyond 15units (16-80units) will enjoy a reduced tariff of Shs808.9 per unit down from Shs820.9 per unit under the expiring 4th quarter 2022.
Those who will use between 81-150units per month, will pay Shs412 while those above 150units will be charged Shs808.9 per unit.
As for Commercial consumers, they will on average pay Shs624.6 per unit, Shs820.3 during peak hours, Shs628.3 shoulder and Shs380.2 off peak.
The medium Industrial consumers will pay 472.3 per unit (average), Shs646.9 peak, Shs476.8 Shoulder and Shs255.4 during off peak.
Large Industrial consumers will pay Shs386.3 (average), Shs521.3 peak, Shs387.2 and off-peak Shs245.5 per unit.
Extra large Industrial consumers will pay Shs326.6 (average), Shs431.1 peak, Shs328.2 shoulder and off-peak Shs234.9.
As for street lighting, ERA has maintained the tariffs at Shs370 per unit.
Addressing the media at the Uganda Media Center, Wasagali said the tariffs followed consultations by ERA on applications for tariff review by utility companies including UEGCL UETCL UEDCL Umeme Ltd and Eskom Uganda Ltd submitted in November.
She said during it’s 382nd meeting, the board on December 19 2022 considered the submissions and views of the relevant stakeholders consulted and took a decision on the applications for the 2023 annual tariff review.
Wasagali said in determination of the new tariffs, ERA based on the fact that the Ugandan shilling has gained weight against the US dollar. She said for example in determining the 4th quarter tariffs, the dollar was stronger selling at Shs3810.74 but it reduced to Shs3738.33 as on November 30 2022 representing an appreciation of 1.9%.
She added that with effect from April 2023, the main hydro power dams at Nalubaale and Kiira will revert to government-owned UEGCL from Eskom Uganda Ltd which was maintaining both dams on a commercial basis among other issues considered.
She said in the coming year, ERA will commence implementation of the US 5cents Industrial tariff for extra large Industrial consumers with potential to increase production, continue implementing domestic and institutional cooking tariffs to encourage domestic users to cook with electricity among other plans.
Meanwhile, ERA CEO Eng Ziria Tibalwa Waako explained the various time zones and urged the Industrial consumers to fully utilize the off-peak hour to reduce competition for power.
She said during peak hours (6pm-12midnight), the domestic consumers have returned home and are cooking while commercial consumers are also producing.
“Off-peak (midnight to 6am) is the period the price of electricity is lowest. This is the time we encourage industries to use it well. Here, the domestic consumers are asleep and therefore there’s no competition for power. We want to discourage competition for power” she advised at the launch presided over by the minister for Energy and Mineral Development Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa.
The minister congratulated ERA and the ESI for the big strides made in the ending year 2022 and also commended president Museveni for always supporting the energy sector.
“Vandalism is costing us the stability of the electricity supply network, it is also costing us huge sums money to replace the vandalized infrastructure. I warn all those involved in this vice that, soon, you will be arrested. Save yourselves and desist from this evil practice” she warned.