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ERB to deliver decision on Zesco tariff hike this month

THE Energy Regulation Board says it will deliver its decision on the application to increase electricity tariffs by Zesco within this month.

During a public hearing in Lusaka on Zesco’s application to increase the tariffs, ERB chairperson Raymond Mpundu advised the utility to explain its proposal clearly.

“…this review of Zesco’s tariff application comes at a time when the country is experiencing what is perhaps the worst power deficit ever which is affecting the sub region. The sub region’s power generation capacity has been impacted severely by climate change because most of the power generation facilities are hydro based,” Mpundu said.

“I wish to implore Zesco to articulate their proposal and provide responses to consumer submissions in a manner that is as clear as possible.”

He said the determination of the matter would be delivered in the next few days.

“…The ERB will, consistent with best practice commit to applying itself to finalising this process which has a direct impact on migration towards cost reflective tariffs. We have set a target to render a decision on this application within the month of November,” said Mpundu.

But Zesco director transmission Webster Musonda said the increment if approved would help improve service delivery and secure power supply.

“So what are the expected benefits from this proposed tariff increment? Assuring the energy security for the country, private investors will have appetite to invest in the generation space, Zesco will also improve in the delivery of safe and reliable electricity as well as access to electricity because then we will be able to continue with the planned distribution. It will also help Zesco improve on its revenue,” said Musonda.

Zesco has proposed to increase electricity tariffs by a total average of 113 per cent for residential users, large power, small power, commercial and services customers and an additional 213 per cent increment on connection charges on average.

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