Coastal consumers hit by 7% power hike

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Walvis Bay

Erongo RED, the regional electricity distributor in the Erongo region, has announced a tariff increase of 7.1 per cent for electricity.

Erongo RED initially lobbied for an 8.3 percent tariff increase, but the Electrify Control Board (ECB) only granted the utility an effective average increase of 7.7 per cent.

This means that all registered pensioners, who are using up to 40 amps circuit breaker will receive a three per cent increase, while those in the low-income segment, who are also on the same circuit breaker and below will face a 5 per cent tariff increase.

The 3 per cent increase translates to about 4 cents per unit, which means pensioners will now pay N$1.24 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the first 250 units, while users in the lower segment will pay about N$1.28 per kWh.

All other residents in the western region will be charged according to the amps their homes and businesses are connected to.

During a media briefing held last Friday here, Erongo RED CEO, Robert Kahimise said the approved 7.7 per cent increase will mean at least N$7 million less in revenue for the company, which is currently trying to recoup N$28 million to meet cost of the ongoing Walvis Bay bulk electricity upgrade.

“The reason for this increase is to ensure cost-reflectivity and when we determined the tariffs this year we looked at various factors, such as the impact the 9.53 per cent increase by Nampower on the region, the impact on end-users, as well as envisaged capital projects, such as the electrification project and the replacement of some of the aging infrastructure, as well as servicing of the development bank loan that was earmarked for the Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis upgrade,” Kahimise explained. He further said that they also took into consideration the socio-economic challenges that residents are facing, including the impact of the cost of electricity cost on commercial and industrial customers.

As always, he urged residents to use electricity wisely, especially during July and August. Erongo RED has historically tended to raise energy prices in the middle of winter, when demand is highest.

“During these months many people use electricity more than the rest of the year. This translates into a higher electricity bill, as well as higher electricity demand for the region,” Kahimise said.

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