ERA Against Umeme’s Proposed Higher Power Tariffs

UmemeeePower distributor, Umeme’s proposed increasing of the end-user tariffs for domestic consumers by 9.95 per cent starting next year has been refuted by the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA).

If the government had accepted the proposal, the price of electric power used in homes would rise from Shs524.5 to Shs576.69 per unit consumed. Patrick Mwesigwa, the director of finance at ERA speaking at a public hearing organised by ERA in Kampala said the prevailing economic conditions such as inflation, the exchange rate, fuel prices and water, all of which have been stable for the last six months thus Umeme had less ground on the proposal.

“There is no indication that the tariff will be increased although the decision will be made by the regulator who is our board of directors,” he told reporters.

Umeme had also wanted the tariffs for maize mills and water pumps increased from Shs487.6 to Shs568.48, that for small industries from Shs458.9 to Shs571.24 and for large industries Shs389.63 instead of Shs312.8 per unit consumed.

“The regulator wrote to all the players in the sector to submit their tariffs proposals. Some did, some have not. We submitted ours. It is an ongoing process,” Mr Rugamba told the reporters early in December 2013.

However, according to Umeme’s Tariff Application 2014, which was seen by this newspaper, Umeme did not say why it has asked to be allowed to raise the cost of electricity.

The Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, the sole buyer of bulk electricity from the generation plants, sales it to the power distribution companies for between Shs191.79 and Shs248.99 per unit.

Uganda last increased the end-user tariffs in January 2012. The increment then was as a result of the government scrapping subsidies for electricity consumers because the government simply could not afford to continue paying.



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