Power price determination relatively fair – MPs

Engineering News 28 March 2013.

MPs are cautiously optimistic about the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) determination of electricity tariffs, Parliament’s energy portfolio committee chairperson Sisa Njikelana said on Wednesday.

“It’s worth looking at with a smile. I caution and qualify my response because we still have to get Eskom to respond to it,” Njikelana said after Nersa briefed the committee on the power price determination process.

Nersa assured the committee that Eskom would not be bankrupted by the decision to increase electricity tariffs by 8% over the next five years…

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Eskom should do the right thing

Business Day Live 5 March 2013.

THE decision by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) to limit power utility Eskom to an 8% average increase a year for the next five years comes as an enormous relief. This is especially true for business, which is under strain from many other things that are making doing business extremely tough. The political pressure to keep the increases down has also been apparent.

Yet within the relief there is room for a few questions to be asked. First, how is it possible for Eskom to ask for a 16% increase every year for five years, and for Nersa to halve this number? Either Nersa’s calculations are horribly wrong, or Eskom’s claim that it is trying its best to keep electricity prices as low as possible is bunkum. The second question is tricky: has Nersa overreacted to political pressure to keep electricity prices low? Is it asking too much of Eskom?

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Nersa ‘concerned’ about effect of power price on industry, says specialist

Business Day Live 6 March 2013.

THE National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) was concerned about the general price of electricity and its impact on industry in municipal areas, regulatory specialist for electricity Charles Geldard said on Wednesday in an address to Parliament’s trade and industry committee.

Manufacturers have complained bitterly about the electricity tariffs imposed by municipalities, which rely on this as an important source of revenue. In terms of the Municipal Systems Act municipalities are allowed to add a surcharge for commercial and industrial customers.

Mr Geldard said the funding model of municipalities needed to be addressed. For example all metro budgets forecast a steadily increasing reliance on revenue from electricity.

“The proportion is increasing by about two to three percentage points a year,” Mr Geldard said…

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Electricity not used for heating – SAIRR

Engineering News 5 March 2013.

Even though most homes in South Africa have electricity, over 50% of households do not use it for heating, the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Tuesday.

“Of the 14.8-million households in South Africa, some 12.4-million (84%) use electricity for lighting, 10.7-million (73%) use it for cooking, and 6.5-million (44%) use it for heating their homes,” the SAIRR said…

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Electricity use drops ‘due to price increase’

Business Day Live 27 February 2013.

SOUTH African consumers used less electricity last year when compared to the prior year as the price of power more than doubled in three years.

The volume of electricity consumption decreased by 2,6% in the 12 months to December, Statistics SA said in its electricity report last month…

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Call for industrial sector to save energy

Mail and Guardian 22 February 2013.

A 5% reduction would equate to 6 000 gigawatt hours a year and would cost less than new power plants.
Large energy consumers have warned that Eskom’s proposed electricity hikes of 16% a year for five years threaten economic growth and jobs. But environmental experts argue that energy-efficiency measures are being overlooked as a way to address power shortages and rising costs. Some estimate that the cost of energy-saving technologies could be four times less than the cost of new power plants…

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Electricity tariff decision expected on Thursday

Mail and Guardian 25 February 2013.

A decision on Eskom’s proposed new electricity prices will be announced on Thursday, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa has said.

It would do so by way of a news briefing in Pretoria, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) said on Monday.

Eskom has asked for a 16% increase in electricity prices in each of the next five years, which will more than double the price, taking it from 61 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2012/13, to 128 cents a kWh in 2017/18…

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