Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has announced that power prices have been raised by 13.7 percent from the current average of K35.69 to K40.59 per kilowatt-hour with effect from November 1.
Malawians are expected to dig deeper into their pockets following the hiking up of electricity tariffs with Consumer rights activist John Kapito accusing the state-owned Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi
(Escom) of failing to improve the service delivery and that the hike is “wrong”.
Kapito has faulted Mera for succumbing to Escom’s proposal and branded the decision as “stupid.”
He said consumers should not pay for inefficiencies at Escom.
Kapito wondered why Mera chose to endorse the increment at a time the country is experiencing
the intermittent and prolonged blackouts.
”I regard Mera as stupid for failing to consider the consumer. Malawians are already paying high tariffs and yet are not getting the service they paying for,” argued Kapito.
Kapito said it was surprising that Mera approved the increment when Escom has failed to meet the set Key Performance Indicators (KIPs).
”It seems Mera is colluding with Escom to rip off poor Malawians instead of focusing on protecting the interest of consumers by ensuring that Escom improves its services first before calling for tariff increase”.
He added: ”There is no clear justification as to why we should have tariff increment now when has Escom failed improve the quality of services since the first tariff increase”.
Addressing a news conference in Lilongwe, Mera board chairperson Dingiswayo Jere said it approved Escom’s request to implement a second tranche of 18.39 percent after considering the performance of the service provider.
According to law, electricity tariffs are reviewed every four years and since Mera Board was elected in 2008 there has been two electricity base tariff reviews.
The first base tariff increase was for years 2009 to 2013 while the second one is being implemented in phases during the years 2014 to 2017.
The energy regulator said it has reviewed the impact of the movements in the macroeconomic fundamentals of exchange rate and inflation before effecting the hike.
Jere that that the 13.7 percent electricity tariff increase is part of the 18.39 percent increase which the energy sector regulator approved with effect from 1 July, 2015 “ intended to catalyse a financially health and self-sustaining electricity sector that is capable of generating sufficient revenue and credit worthiness for Escom at fair and reasonable tariffs to end users.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :