Weak shilling pushes electricity cost up

Power lines
Power lines

For the next three months, a domestic power consumer will pay Shs544.9, up from Shs531.5 for each unit, owing to the strong dollar.

This means that a household that has been paying Shs33, 453 per month for electricity will now pay an extra Shs10,000 for the same number of units.

According to Dr. Benon Mutambi, the chief executive officer, of the Electricity Regulatory Authority, the increments are due to the depreciation of the Uganda Shilling against the US Dollar,

On the other hand, a commercial consumer will now pay Shs496.3, up from Shs484.6 whereas a medium industrial user will pay Shs471.6, up from Shs461.6.

A large industrial consumer will pay Shs320.5 per unit instead of Shs315.6 whereas the local authorities will pay Shs514.9 for each unit of power, up from Shs502.5.

The shilling, which had been trading at Shs2, 779.9 for each dollar, was by the end of February – the base month the regulator used to compute the new tariffs, trading at Shs2, 894.2.

Many of the electricity utilities – Eskom Uganda Limited, Bujagali Energy Ltd, the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd and electricity distribution company, Umeme – have inputs such as generators and cables, they buy using dollars.

This is the fourth time in four quarters that the government is increasing the tariffs.
Story by Nelson Wesonga