The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has dismissed reports that the recent 64.89 percent electricity tariffs adjustment is aimed at making up for revenue lost from the adoption of energy saver bulbs.
Escomâ€™s comment comes amid reports that the hiking is meant to soak up the revenue slash derived from the usage of energy saver bulbs in the country. Electricity rates went up from K9.80 per kilowatts per hour to K16.16.
In response to a questionnaire, Escom public relations manager Kitty Chimseu said the reports show lack of knowledge about the Energy Efficient Lighting Programme (EELP) and the tariff adjustments made recently.
â€œThe electricity tariffs have been increased in response to the present economic factors such as inflation and devaluation. You may wish to note that our tariff is still below the cost of production.
â€œThere are no losses being incurred due to the installation of energy saver bulbs. If anything, Escom is benefiting from the project because the energy saved is supplied to other customers who would otherwise have been off supply due to load shedding. The project is helping Escom to reach out to more customers,â€ she said.
Minister of Finance Dr Ken Lipenga last week said there has been limited private sector investment in power because electricity tariffs were set too low. He said the adjustment will encourage the private sector to invest in power generation.
â€œThe adjustment of electricity tariffs to full cost-recovery levels will generate the resources to pay for inter-connection with the Mozambique grid and also create incentive for private sector investment in power generation and distribution,â€ he said.
Energy saver bulbs use only 15 watts of power compared to 60 watts and 100 watts for incandescent bulbs.