The Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority(EDSA) has in a Public hearing Organized by the Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission(SLEWRC) at the New City Hall, stated that they are set to increase the cost of electricity tariff in the Western Area.
According to the Chief Finance Officer of EDSA, Mustapha Sannoh, they made an application to EWRC for tariff adjustment. He said the adjustment was based on two exogenous variables the cost of world market fuel price and exchange currency rate, most notably the U.S dollar which affected its direct cost of sales.
He said, at the time of the application, the world market fuel price increased by approximately 82% from 220 US dollars metric ton (mtn) to 400 US dollars (mtn). He added that Leones relative to US dollars depreciated by 20%.
He noted that EDSA’s electricity tariff was reviewed and revised upwardly in December 2019, after the last tariff adjustment approval in 2016. “The current tariff has been decimated to the point of being unable to break even on the direct cost of sales even if the technical commercial losses were at zero,” he stated.
He said the proposed average
tariff of US$0.22/Wh is in line with what obtains in other countries in the sub-region. He added that the the off-grid electricity tariff in Sierra Leone ranges from 0.60 dollars to o0.75 dollars per kilowatt (kWh).
Sannoh assured that not long from now, they will provide reliable, sustainable, and affordable electricity to all EDSA customers. He added that they set to improve their constricted financial resources and hence enhance their ability to meet the direct cost of buying power from Electrical Generation US and Transmission Company(EGTC), Independent Power Producers(IPPs), and to settle other financial obligations.
He also said they want to do a reduction in the subsidy that Government provides in the energy sector.
He said the ECOWAS Emergency Distribution Project on the expansion of the distribution network in the Western Area is set to cover 33 unreserved communities.
The Chief finance Officer noted that, with Government Medium-Term National Development Plan (2019-20223) there has been a steady in access to electricity for the period under review. He said the customer
database has expanded and is projected to increase by over 300,000 in 2022.
He highlighted that the sales of electricity have increased from Le338.4billion in 2017 to Le501.76 billion in 2021 underlying the management commitments to enhance revenue mobilization and collections.
Sannoh pointed out that, theft of electricity has continued to negatively impact the financial viability of the utility sector, which he said a Task Force set up to counter and apprehend illegal users and dishonest customers are now in full gear.
He said an increase in peak load demand (80MW) has exacerbated the problem of power evacuation thus increasing the vulnerability risk on the 40MVA power transformer at 161kV Bay.
The Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) was established by an Act of Parliament in 2011 as part of the reforms in the energy sector.