City hikes power tariffsBy: NICO SMIT
WINDHOEK residents will now have to dig deeper into their pockets to keep the lights on as the Electricity Control Board (ECB) approved an average 13 per cent tariff increase for the City of Windhoek which came into effect yesterday.
Speaking at the Windhoek City Council’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, Windhoek Mayor Elaine Trepper said that the ECB had approved an effective average increase in the City of Windhoek’s electricity tariff of 13.1 percent. Trepper added that the increase would be implemented on September 1.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an official at the ECB said that Windhoek residents will now spend an average of N$1,19 per unit of electricity and pre-paid domestic customers will have to fork out N$1,30 per unit, which is a 14 per cent increase.
The ECB official said prepaid customers are charged a slightly higher fee as they do not pay a deposit and the unit price includes an administrative charge.
When the municipality unveiled its capital and operational budgets earlier this year, it announced that the City Council had approved an effective 15 per cent increase in electricity tariffs pending ECB approval of NamPower’s tariff hike application.
CoW Strategic Executive for Finance Roger Gertze said last month that following confirmation of the approval of NamPower’s application, the CoW would make a submission to the ECB for an approval of a tariff increase.
Gertze said that should the ECB approve and increase lower than the 15 per cent which the Municipality anticipated, then it wont be necessary to return to the City Council for approval and implementation.
Prior to the increase, the CoW charged its residents N$1,14 per unit, or kiloWatt hour (kWh), of prepaid electricity, and the average per unit price was N$1,04 to keep the lights on.
The ECB official yesterday reiterated an earlier statement made by Gertze, when she said that the CoW’s electricity tariff is based on cost recovery. The CoW is only allowed to recover costs which are calculated and allowed by the ECB, as the regulatory authority determines the cost recovery methodology and how it is implemented over time.
The ECB official also said that while the rates which NamPower charges the CoW for electricity varies, the average price which the Windhoek Municipality pays is a little under 66 cents per unit.
CoW Strategic Executive for Electricity Ferdinand Diener has said that the prepaid electricity tariff includes and ECB levy and that during peak times in the high demand season, which runs from June to August, the CoW pays N$1,28 per unit of electricity.
Diener has added that this rate excludes the basic cost and the ECB levy, and says that the CoW suffers a significant loss on electricity sales during peak times.