Home News Sol wants 11% power hike but impact for residents will be far...

Sol wants 11% power hike but impact for residents will be far greater

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...but impact for residents will be far greater

File picture: Cindy Waxa

WHILE the Sol Plaatje City Council is proposing an electricity tariff increase of 11.4%, city residents are likely to be paying a lot more for electricity from July 1.

The new tariff structure comes in the wake of last year’s introduction of a R260 basic levy, which left the city in an uproar and had to be scrapped, resulting in a loss on this year’s budget of between R115 and R120 million.

For the 2019/20 financial year, the tariffs have been restructured and now include summer and winter tariffs, in an attempt to subsidise those who use less electricity, with consumers using between 0-350 Kwh benefiting the most.

A graphic on the overall impact of tariff increases on households within a “middle income range”, an “affordable range” and an “indigent range”, shows the impact for residents will be far greater than the expected 11.4%.

“Middle income households” will be charged a basic charge of R110 (R126.50 including VAT) a month for electricity, while their electricity consumption costs will increase by around 23.6%. This means that for households that currently pay R1 591 a month for electricity, the electricity bill will from July 1 be in excess of R2 000 a month.

In total, with water, sanitation and refuse removal, the total municipal bill for these residents will be around R3 786 a month from July 1.

Households in the “affordable range” will not be charged the basic rate but the cost of electricity is expected to jump by 41%. Electricity bills for residents in this category will increase from around R646 a month to more than R900 a month.

The total municipal bill for these residents will be around R2 164 a month.

The percentage increase for indigent households is around 31%, with their monthly electricity consumption jumping from R293 a month to R387. Their total municipal bill will be around R887 a month.

According to the proposed tariffs, residents will also pay more for electricity during the winter months, when demand is higher. This pricing structure has been used by many other municipalities around the country.

It will also create a better cash flow for the local authority as the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s account to Eskom for bulk electricity is almost double during the winter months, jumping from around R30 million in summer to R60 million.

The proposed tariff (conventional and prepaid meters) for residential users in summer for Block 1 (0-350 Kwh) is R1.9550, while Block 2 (more than 350 Kwh) is R2.4265.

The proposed winter tariff for domestic users for Block 1 is R2.1114, while Block 2 is R2.4579.

There will also be a basic charge on properties valued at R650 000 and higher of R126.50.

The proposed costs for indigents up to 350 Kwh is R1.7825 and R2.4265 for units used over 351 Kwh. In winter this will jump to R1.895 for 350 Kwh and below, and R2.5478 per unit above 351 Kwh.

Public benefits and schools will pay R2.2425 a unit in summer, R2.2770 a unit in winter, as well as a basic charge per month of R310.50. If they have a kVA meter they will also be charged in line with small businesses.

The proposed costs for small business has also been restructured. Small business will still pay a basic charge, which will go up to R310.50 a month.

They will also pay different tariffs in summer and winter. In summer, the proposed cost for Block 1 (0-1 200 Kwh) is R2.4265 and for Block 2 (more than 1 200 Kwh) it is R2.7177. The winter tariff for this sector is R2.5194 for Block 1 and R2.8536 for Block 2.

For Time of Use consumers (NPO, NGO and schools) there is a basic charge per month. For less than 75 kVA it is R1 380, between 75 and 100 kVA it is R2 760 and for more than 100 kVA it is R3 910. The Network Demand Charge for this sector is R144.87 (R/kVA) and the Network Access Charge is R49.11 (R/kVA).

For this sector the Energy Charges R/kVA in the Low Demand Season (September to May) is:

Peak: <75 kVA R1.7455; 75 to 100 kVA R1.8327; >100kVa R1.9724

Standard: <75 kVA R1.2977; 75 to 100 kVA R1.3366; >100 kVa R1.4274

Off-peak: <75 kVA R1.0463; 75 to 100 kVA R1.0672; >100 kVa R1.1614

High Demand Season (June to August)

Peak: <75 kVA R3.5504; 75 to 100 kVA R1.6164; >100kVa R1.7115

Standard: <75 kVA R1.5847; 75 to 100 kVA R1.6164; >100 kVa R1.7115

Off-peak: <75 kVA R1.1509; 75 to 100 kVA R1.1799; >100 kVa R1.2775

The tariffs for Industrial and Business is a basic charge per month of R1 160 (<75 kVA), R2 300 (75 to 100 kVA) and R3 910 (>100 kVA).

The Network Demand Charge for this sector is R153.31 (R/kVA) and the Network Access Charge is R51.97 (R/kVA).

The Energy Charges R/kVA in the Low Demand Season (September to May) is:

Peak: <75 kVA R1.7457; 75 to 100 kVA R1.7457; >100kVa R1.7457

Standard: <75 kVA R1.2632; 75 to 100 kVA R1.2632; >100 kVa R1.2632

Off-peak: <75 kVA R1.0463; 75 to 100 kVA R1.0463; >100 kVa R1.0463

High Demand Season (June to August)

Peak: <75 kVA R4.6308; 75 to 100 kVA R4.6308; >100 KVa R4.6308

Standard: <75 kVA R1.5647; 75 to 100 kVA R1.5647; >100 kVa R1.5647

Off-peak: <75 kVA R1.0860; 75 to 100 kVA R1.0860; >100 kVa R1.0860