Govt to penalise excessive electricity users

The regulatory framework that will enforce the energy conservation programme and penalise consumers who use electricity excessively is being finalised, state news agency BuaNews reported on Friday.

“We are finalising a regulatory framework to ensure that our power conservation programme [PCP] is enforced,” Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica was quoted as saying.

“This is expected to be finalised by the end of June this year.
The regulations provide for sanctions against excessive use and wastage of electricity,” Sonjica said.

These sanctions will be in the form of a tariff-based penalty, which will see excessive electricity users pay more, especially where their excess adversely impacts upon the supply to other users.

The PCP seeks to ensure that South Africa reduces its electricity consumption by at least 3 000MW in the next three years.

Delivering her 2008/09 budget vote, Sonjica said the country is facing an emergency with regard to the generation and supply of electricity.

She said it is quite clear that unless drastic interventions and sacrifices are made, the country is going to be in this emergency situation for many years to come

“We have established the National Emergency Response Team, a partnership between the government, business, labour and civil society, to mobilise all of us and ensure that, as South Africa Incorporated, we respond in a coordinated manner to the emergency,” she noted.

The minister highlighted that through the country’s collective effort to be more energy conscious and through demand-side management, Eskom has so far been able to conserve at least 100MW.

An additional 1 000MW saving has been achieved through the energy-saving efforts of the industrial sector and local government.

“I would like to specifically thank the mining sector for their contribution to the energy-saving campaign,” she said.

Sonjica said her department has finalised the electricity pricing policy, and as agreed at the Electricity Summit this year, will be presenting this policy at National Economic Development and Labour Council within the next two weeks.

The newly drafted policy seeks to address the policy gaps that were identified at the Electricity Summit and will also guide the National Energy Regulator of South Africa in their future price determinations.

The intentions of the policy are to set a clear framework on determining electricity prices; to achieve an appropriate balance between meeting social equity and economic growth; to create certainty and predictability; and to ensure long-term financial sustainability of the industry.—I-Net Bridge

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