Ugandans could soon be relieved on the amount of money they pay in electricity bills as government gets ready to commission two new power dams next year.
The 183MW Isimba Dam, 600MW Karuma Dam and the 42MW Achwa 11projects which are expected to commissioned in 2019 according to Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), will add another 824MW to the national grid bringing the total to about 2000MW.
Currently, power tariff for heavy industrial users is $5 cents (shs240) off peak, from 11pm in the night to morning; while on peak, it is around $11 cents (Shs500).
Domestic users’ tariff on the other hand stands at Shs. 96.4 per unit.
“This is still high for the producers to produce competitive products on the global market. However, our charges are among the lowest in the region. With the additional power from these dams, we expect prices to go down,” said Julius Wandera, the communications manager ERA.
The Executive Director ERA Ziria Tibalwa Waako said that a lot of other electricity generation projects are in the pipeline and once completed, Uganda will have access power. This, she said, combined with the current free connection policies will ensure demand and supply which will lead to reduced/competitive prices.
“To date, there are 22 projects under feasibility studies with a total potential installed capacity of 1096.2MW” she said and added, “The number of our customers on the national grid at end of September 2018 was 1.3million; an increase from the 1.1million registered at end of 2017. By customer tariff categorisation, there are 1.2 million domestic customers, 103,602 commercial customers and 252 street light customers. We are working hard to increase the number of connections in the coming years so that power tariffs can go down” she said.
ERA held the 2019 Tariff Review Public hearing on Friday at Imperial Royal Hotel in Kampala for the sector players including distributors regulators and transmitters like Umeme
Selestine Babungi, the MD Umeme Limited while presenting his company’s Application said they were looking forward to better service delivery to the customers in 2019
“Our application is anchored in creating distribution efficiency, loss reduction, improving reliable supply sources, cater for government free access agenda and attract more capital investment in the sector” he said
Some of the participates, customers raised the usual complaints of high electricity tariff, unreliable power supply in some areas, restriction of the public hearings to Kampala and only in the English language, overcharges during connection and bribery tendencies