Cape Town – The public has until January 20 to comment on Eskom’s application to the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) for a tariff increase to recover R27billion in losses from load shedding.
This tariff increase will probably see electricity costs increase by up to 17%.
Nersa said it would assess Eskom’s application following due regulatory processes, and that it was committed to being transparent and broadening public participation in its decision-making process.
It said part of the process included publishing Eskom’s application on Nersa’s website for stakeholder comments, and this was done on December 3.
Nersa said public hearings would also be held in all nine provinces from February 3 to 21.
The Cape Town hearing is on February 3. Nersa’s electricity subcommittee will consider draft reasons for its decision by March 18, and announce its decision on March 24.
According to Eskom’s regulatory clearing-account application for the 2018/19 financial year, the power utility is requesting over R27.3billion.
“Eskom’s revenue is determined by Nersa through a revenue application process and the clearing-account application process, which this submission addresses.
“The energy regulator’s decision for the 2019 financial year was an average nominal increase of 5.23%.
“Nersa’s decision was announced on December 15, 2017. None of the financial ratio and free cash flow outcomes determined by Nersa when it made its decision materialised. The interest cover ratio for the 2019 financial year is 0.79 and the debt service ratio is 0.47.
Meanwhile, energy expert Ted Blom said Eskom’s application must be challenged through mass public participation.
“If we allow Eskom to succeed, we will see a substantial jump in current tariffs. But as the increase is over and above their annual tariff hikes, in reality, your electricity costs will double within two years.
“We cannot allow this to happen,” he said.
Blom will present the public participation, along with his argument against the tariffs, at all scheduled hearings in all provinces.
To date, 11621 people have submitted comments via his online portal. Comments can be made to Blom online at https://eeco.co.za/eskoms-2018-19-rca-application/.
Written comments can be forwarded to [email protected], hand-delivered to 526 Madiba Street, Arcadia, Pretoria or posted to PO Box 40343, Arcadia, 0083, Pretoria.
The deadline for written comments is January 20, at 4pm.
Members of the public and stakeholders who wish to attend or present their views at any of the public hearings must submit their request to [email protected] by 3.30pm on January 27.