ECB to announce new electricity tariffs before end of April

Martin Endjala

The Electricity Control Board (ECB) will announce itself on electricity tariffs before the end of April, with Nampower said to have applied for a 16.87 percent tariff increase.

This was confirmed yesterday by the Electricity Control Board Public Relations Officer Ferdinand Molale, who informed this publication that the ECB endeavours to announce the 2023/2024 bulk electricity tariff before the end of April 2023.

“The ECB, after studying the application, would make an announcement on the approved tariff. The ECB will endeavour to educate the public on tariff adjustment using various mass media channels”, Molela explained.

When asked about what measures have they put in place to serve as a relief to households and businesses due to prevailing inflation globally, Molale said that in determining the bulk electricity tariff, the Electricity Board of Namibia normally considers various factors such as the impact of the tariff on the Electricity Supply Industry, consumers and the economy at large.

For the 2023/2024 bulk electricity tariff, “the ECB took into consideration various important factors to mitigate the impact of the tariff on consumers and the economy, especially given the depressed economic situation. These factors will be explained during the bulk tariff announcement”, Molale added.

Last year the Electricity Control Board resolved to increase the average bulk tariff by 7.30 percent from the approved tariff of N$1.6982 per kilowatt-hour to N$1.8222 per kilowatt-hour for the period 2022/2023.

With current trends indicating inflation prevalence, this will mean that consumers will have to again dig deep into their pockets and embrace themselves for yet another bumpy ride as anticipation weighs in on the announcement of electricity tariffs by the Electricity Control Board with many having left to feel the pinch.

Meanwhile, Economist Theo Klein said that Nampower’s request for a 16.87 percent increase in electricity tariffs, will be subjected to the discretionary approval of the Electricity Control Board.

“It is notable that local demand for electricity is increasing with a seasonal effect in the winter and spring seasons, where 2023 electricity demand increased notably due to the recovery of business and mining activity,”Klein said.

According to the National Statistics Agency (NSA), the composite mining production index, which tracks diamonds, gold bullion, uranium, and zinc, grew by 32.2 percent year on year in February 2023, which is indicative of the recovery of the economy, which substantiates why the demand for electricity is on an increasing trend.

Depending on what the ECB approves Klein said, higher electricity tariffs are expected which would be effective July 2023, as a risk to inflation in mineral rights for quarter permit applications.

This is due to the fact that the housing and utilities category has the largest weight in the consumer price basket (28.36 percent).

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