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Wim Pretorius, Matthew le Cordeur01 Mar 2016 13:00
"Eskom submitted an application to Nersa in November last year to recover R22.8-billion, which the utility said it used to avert load-shedding." (Madelene Cronje, M&G)
The National Energy Regulator (Nersa) approved a 9.4% electricity hike for 2016-17 on Tuesday.
Eskom submitted an application to Nersa in November last year to recover R22.8-billion, which the utility said it used to avert load-shedding.
The decision comes after extensive consultation with government, unions, small and intensive users, who engaged in public hearings in six provinces, according to Nersa chairperson Jacob Modise.
“The public interest was also considered as well as input of stakeholders,” he said. Nersa evaluated the “regulatory clearing account” (RCA) balance for the first year (2013-14 period) of the third multi-year price determination (MYPD3) amounting to R22.8-billion.
Energy expert Chris Yelland said Nersa allowed only half of what Eskom claimed for due to reduced sales, i.e.
Eskom only received R6.2-billion of the R11.7-billion it had claimed for due to reduced sales.
The hike will kick off on April 1.
Nersa said based on the available information and the analysis of Eskom’s RCA application for the first year of the third multi-year Price Determination (2013-14), the Energy Regulator decided that:
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said at his press briefing ahead of his 2016 budget speech last Wednesday that tariff increases should only be approved if they are necessary, and not just to make things more comfortable.
“Regarding tariff increases, are they necessary or just comfortable in a particular environment?” Gordhan asked. “We need to improve governance, financial management and state-owned entities’ contribution to the developmental agenda.”
In the budget review, treasury said “further efficiency improvements are necessary at Eskom to ensure moderation in future tariff increases”. “SOEs are not sacrosanct,” Gordhan said. “We are willing to take a tougher look at them.”
His comments came a day before Nersa was scheduled to announce possible electricity price increases through a tariff hike to fund Eskom’s shortfalls. It postponed its announcement to this Tuesday. – Fin24
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