The Energy Regulation Board has dismissed the recently announced electricity connection and meter separation charges by ZESCO, saying the new charges do not have the authority’s blessings.
And ERB says ZESCO proposed to increase connection charges by 213% in 2019 but that the application was deferred and pending in-depth study and further consultations.
In a statement, Thursday, ERB Public Relations Manager Namukolo Kasupe said the authority was the only one with the power to determine, regulate and review charges and tariffs.
“The Energy Regulation Board ERB has clarified that it is not in receipt of any application from ZESCO Limited (“ZESCO”) to vary its connection charges, as legally required under Energy Regulation Act No. 12 of 2019 and the Electricity Act No. 11 of 2019. ZESCO is further bound to strict adherence of the governing conditions in its standard license for the supply of electricity. Therefore, any change in ZESCO’s connection charges in whatever form or structure, as reported on various media platforms, does not have the approval of the ERB and its null and void forthwith. For the avoidance of doubt, the Energy Regulation Act under section 4(j) vests the power and function to determine, regulate and review charges and tariffs in the ERB. Further, section 25 of ZESCO’s standard License for the supply of Electricity unequivocally proscribes ZESCO from changing tariffs or any other charge’s for any product or service provided in the course of the licensed activity without prior approval of the ERB,” she said.
Namukolo said in 2019, ZESCO proposed to increase connection charges by 213% but that the application was deferred.
“The public may wish to know that at the last tariff application in 2019, ZESCO applied for a revision in electricity tariffs and connection charges. At the time, only the tariffs were approved and revised. The application by ZESCO to revise connection charges by 213% was deferred pending in-depth study and further consultations by ZESCO. As such, ZESCO were guided to re-submit an application for connection fees once these conditions were met. To date, ZESCO has not re-submitted an application to vary the connection fees upwards or for the removal of subsidies. Members of the public are therefore urged to disregard the reported revised charge by ZESCO for electricity connection and separation of meters. Anyone subjected to the reported new charges should bring this to the attention of the ERB guided under section 4 (e) of the Energy Regulation Act,” stated Namukolo.