02 January 2014, Dar es Salaam – Life is set to get tougher as the New Year begins on Wednesday with the new electricity tariff. The 40 per cent increase in power tariff is set to take effect from tomorrow and so its dreaded spiral effects to the consumers and the economy in general.
According to the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA), ordinary domestic users will have to pay 100/- per unit up from 60/- they were paying before. For big domestic power consumers, small business operators, milling machine operators and the likes the price has been raised to 306/- per unit from the current 221/-.
Power subscribers whose demands exceed 7,500 units, will now pay 205/- per unit from the current price of 132/- per unit. For large scale power consumers (T3-MV) including large industries connected to the medium voltage, the new charges will be 166/- per unit from 121/-.
The approved price for the group of customers connected to the high voltage which uses 66,000 units and above (T3-HV) is 159/- from 106/- per unit equivalent to an increase of 53/-. This group comprises Zanzibar Electric Company (ZECO), Bulyanhulu gold mine and Twiga Cement.
EWURA’s Director of Regulatory Economics, Felix Ngalamgosi, said the applications for power hike were approved to bail out the state owned power utility firm, TANESCOw.
“The proposed tariff adjustment will enable Tanesco to meet its operational costs and capital investment programme (CIP), demonstrate its bankability to donors and increase capacity needed to meet system peak demand,” he said.
And there seemed to be no a better option. It was either the tariff is hiked or we face an indefinite power rationing. At a public hearing of its application to raise power tariffs, TANESCO said the country should brace for an indefinite power rationing if its request for hiking electricity tariffs was not approved.
Dr Honest Prosper Ngowi, an economist and lecturer at Mzumbe University in Dar es Salaam, says hiking of electricity tariff was a necessary evil, something that was bound to happen anyway.
He told our reporter that the power tariff hike was set to make life tougher as consumers will have to pay more for the service and brace for even more as the increased cost of production will be passed on them.
– Tanzania Daily News