BPC pushes for 10% tariff increase


The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) is waiting on a request for a tariff increase submitted to the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) which, if granted, will be the third such in as many years.

Although authorities close to the matter are tight lipped, Mmegi is informed that the electricity utility has applied for at least a 10% increase for domestic customers. Highly-placed insiders said the last review, in April 2018, had pushed domestic tariffs within spitting distance of the actual costs incurred by the BPC in supplying power.

The last increase took the BPC to a maximum of 97 thebe per kilowatt hour (kwh) for domestic users who go above the 200kwh usage limit. The figure is compared to the actual supply costs of about P1.30. “The BPC has asked for an average 10% increase for domestic users across both measures (for usage below and above 200kwh).

“The decision has passed BERA, which although it has the power to decide on its own, always seeks approval from the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security.

“It appears the issue has taken longer this time because of the political considerations of effecting electricity hikes in an election year,” an insider told Mmegi.

When it began fully operating late in 2017, BERA vowed to hold public hearings before processing the BPC’s requests for tariff reviews, in line with the Botswana Energy Regulatory Act of 2016.

In the first year of full operations, BERA said the public hearings could not be held as the regulator was still new. This time around, officials simply confirmed that the BPC had submitted a tariff request, but did not provide details.

 Asked to specify what quantum of increase the BPC was looking for, BERA CEO, Rose Seretse told Mmegi she was constrained. “They did apply (for a review) but until the process is complete, the figure cannot be stated,” she said.

BPC officials were equally terse on the matter. “We have submitted a request and our submission is subject to consultation with BERA.

We are not in a position to state the figures at this stage as the process is in progress,” the Corporation’s spokesperson, Letumile Mosarwa told Mmegi. Under the BPC’s Masa 2020 strategy, electricity tariffs are supposed to be cost reflective by the next financial year.

Editor's Comment
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Nowadays it is not uncommon to purchase an item for a certain commodity and return to the shops in a week, to find the same item has gone up by a significant amount of money.Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) last week announced yet another fuel price increase, which follows yet another increase that came into effect on March 29. Hardly two months later on May 12 boom, BERA announced yet another increase, which came into effect at a...

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