Eskom seeks 32% annual tariff hike

Struggling power utility Eskom is seeking an average power tariff increase of just over 32% for the financial year that starts on 1 April 2023, much higher than originally sought, it said on Thursday.

Energy regulator Nersa has said it intends to announce its decision on Eskom’s tariff application in November. It rarely allows Eskom the full increase it applies for, with disputes between the two often ending up in court.

Eskom was allowed to increase tariffs by an average of 9.6% in April 2022, whereas it had asked to raise them by 20.5%. The size of its new request means electricity users in the country, already grappling with a cost of living crisis, could face much higher power bills next year.

In a statement, Eskom said higher diesel and fuel oil prices, depreciation of its generation assets and greater procurement from independent power producers were some of the main reasons it was asking for a larger hike.

Read: Stage-4 load shedding is here to stay, Eskom says

Eskom has been mired in financial crisis for years and regularly implements power cuts that constrain economic growth.

The company argues that Nersa has not allowed it to recoup sufficient revenue via electricity tariffs and says that is one reason why it is dependent on government bailouts.  — (c) 2022 Reuters

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