Escom’s tariff hike proposal unreasonable- Stakeholders

The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi’s (Escom) 58 percent electricity tariff hike proposal continue to hit the snag, as the Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) and the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) have rejected the proposal arguing that the amount is unreasonable.

The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) received an application for electricity base tariff review for the 2014/2017 period in accordance with Section 16(5) of the Electricity Act for approval.

As such Mera has been conducting public hearings to solicit public views from service providers, policy makers, utility customers, investors and other stakeholders in the energy sector before making a determination on the proposal.

Speaking at the second public hearing on Tuesday in Mzuzu, MCCCI Chief Executive Officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira argued that the proposed amount is unreasonable, adding that “it does not make sense that Escom should raise their tariffs that much.”

Chancellor Kaferapanjira: Unreasonable

Chancellor Kaferapanjira: Unreasonable

On his part Cama Executive Director, John Kapito said Escom has not explained clearly how it is going to reduce expenditure to improve power supply, arguing that the reasonable tariff increase should have been 20 percent or less.

Meanwhile, the corporation has announced continued power outages, mainly load shedding during the Christmas and New Year festive seasons due to reduced power generation capacity.

The country should also expect more black outs due to rainstorms, according to Escom spokesperson, Kitty Chinseu-Chingota.

“Load shedding will continue because we are generating less power that demand. Again, this is rainy season and storms are inevitable. This will affect electricity supply,” she said.

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