Eskom wins tariff hike appeal against energy regulator

Think you’re paying too much for electricity already? Bad news, I’m afraid. Eskom has won its high court bid to appeal a decision set by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) that prevented our beleaguered power utility from setting a 15% increase in the 2018/2019 financial year. Eskom says that decision left it unable to recover an extra R27 billion in costs last year.

Yesterday Judge Jody Kollapen set aside the regulator’s decision not to grant Eskom its requested 18.9% increase for the 2018/2019 financial year, calling NERSA’s decision “procedurally unfair, irrational and unreasonable.”

Judge Kollapen said the initial verdict “effectively deducted billions from Eskom’s projected revenue,” and that Eskom has 60 days to make a supplementary tariff determination to recoup those costs.

Eskom

 

What this means for you

While the appeal won’t have an immediate effect on costs, it opens the way for Eskom to add a supplementary tariff to recover those costs, and to challenge future price pronouncements.

Says General Manager for Regulation at Eskom, Hasha Tlhotlhalemaje:

“It means that the consumer is going to pay for the value that it’s getting because these were efficient costs and it’s not going to be the taxpayer that’s going to pay more. So we’re trying to recover our efficient costs. This will not happen this financial year coming next, which is the 2020/21 financial year. Any adjustments will happen at a later stage.”

This comes as the country’s plunged into darkness by Stage 4 loadshedding, which will continue for the rest of this week.

 “Until the end of the week we will have load shedding,” says Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha. “…we are planning to return the unit at Koeberg by the end of the week, which should bring us some relief by the weekend.”

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