Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has denied the Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM) proposed 60 percent tariff hike and instead approved only 31.8 percent to be spread across the next four years.
MERA Board Chairperson Reverend Dr. Joseph Bvumbwe said during a news conference on Monday in Lilongwe that the adjustment will be spread over a four-year period.
The regulator has made the decision to protect the consumers following public enquiries it conducted to seek stakeholder input and expect the power utility to work on meeting set targets as outlines in its base tariff application.
Bvumbwe said the 31.8 percent increase would translate to an average tariff of K95.15/kWh against K117.64/kWh which Escom requested.
“The first year of the application in 2018, the hike is at 20 percent, second year 7 percent, third year 3 percent and final year 10 percent increase,” said Bishop Bvumbwe.
This means that effective October 1, consumers are now paying an average 20 percent more per kilowatt hour for 2018/19.
Bvumbwe further said with this effect, they expect ESCOM to deliver quality services or risk penalties such as revoking its business license.
The regulator has also adjusted downwards ESCOM’s annual revenue by K206 billion from the proposed K1.2 trillion.
In his remarks, Mera chief executive officer Collins Magalasi said they had approved the revenue increase to Escom on the promised that it would provide the power that consumers are paying extra for annually.