Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) Limited says it hopes government will fund the free electricity connection project is expected to roll out this financial year.
The statement comes in the wake of a backlog of applications for new electricity connections, a situation that has prompted the utility company to engage private partners to help in the connections.
Escom senior manager for commercial and customer services Wiseman Kabwazi said in an interview last week that since they do not get government funding, their connections are business in nature.
He said: “Escom is a limited liability company and it does not get government subvention. It is supposed to generate enough money to sustain its business.
“The free connections are a government project and they are supposed to be funded by government.”
As of August 18, Escom had about 45 196 people on the waiting list of new connections nationwide.
It costs Escom about K282 000 to connect domestic consumers, with urban customers paying about K93 000 while those in the rural areas pay K5 000.
But Kabwazi said to finance the new connections, Escom has to borrow money from financial institutions upon approval by Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority.
In his 2021/22 National Budget Statement, Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu indicated that the Ministry of Energy had completed drafting the Free Electricity Connection Policy, which will provide a platform for free connections to individuals and public institutions in the rural and peri-urban areas.
Under the arrangement, he said connection fees, which average K17 500, will be scrapped.
In an interview on Monday, Ministry of Finance spokesperson Williams Banda said the free connections will be done in line with Escom and Ministry of Energy Free Electricity Connection Policy.