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Off the grid? Eskom price hike ‘will affect solar power users’ too

On Thursday, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa gave Eskom the go ahead to increase electricity prices by 10% from 1 April onwards.

Bad news for solar power users: Eskom will hike connectivity prices for those off the grid – to recoup future lost revenue. The utility estimates it will lose between R3.5 billion and R4 billion in lost revenue to solar energy by the end of 2021.

 

NERSA HAS GREENLIT ESKOM FOR 10% PRICE HIKE

On Thursday, the South African reported the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has given Eskom the go ahead to increase electricity prices by 10% from 1 April onwards.

There are now murmurs that the cash-strapped power utility is looking into passing through an additional 10% increase in electricity prices, meaning South Africans could be paying 20% more than they are currently for their electricity, come the beginning of April.

ESKOM’S PROPOSAL TO NERSA INCLUDE A SPLIT TARRIF

Eskom has proposed that South Africans are charged a split tariff, comprising a volumetric energy usage charge and a fixed daily network charge which is independent of usage.

 

This would lead to solar panel users paying more than before, as they would need to pay daily fixed costs to Eskom to be connected to the grid even if they are using their own power.

Eskom says the photovoltaic (PV) solar system during the day results in a drop in demand meaning generators must ramp up quicker to meet the evening demand, thus affecting the system negatively.

SA POWER UTILITY AIMS TO RECLAIM R6.6 BILLION USING PRICE HIKE

These measures which will burden South Africans, are Eskom’s way of reclaiming the R6.6 billion it needs to cover their costs. The news comes just days after South Africa was plunged into a prolonged period of load shedding. Earlier this week, five provinces were subjected to ‘load reductions’, as power was pulled from regional grids.

Over the next two years, Eskom will look to reclaim R13.2 billion in total, as they plough ahead with the ‘user-pay principle’.

by Olebogeng Motse – The South African

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