Mbabane: Eswatini electricity company will on Monday, August 9, begin an exercise of an application process for an inclining block tariff.
The inclining block tariff is an initiative by the Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) to subsidize low-income earners with the costs of electricity.
In 2018, the government approved a subsidy framework, which included removing cross-subsidies over a reasonable period and implementing a tariff support mechanism for vulnerable customers.
The support mechanism was developed to cushion vulnerable customers from high electricity costs as the industry migrates to reflective tariffs.
The essence of the tariff structure is that the more you use, the higher your pays.
The structure of the inclining block tariff stated that customers on block 1 are those who use 0-75Kwh where they will be buying electricity units at E1.0864 per unity, discounted at 40 percent from the original unit price. And maximum spent monthly will be E81.48 on block 2 which is the normal price, where customers use from 76-100kWh customers will purchase electricity units at E1.8021. Customers on block 3 are those who will be spending over 100kHw per month and will be buying electricity units at E3.9491.
Announcing the developments at the Eswatini Electricity Company headquarters, the General Manager Resources and Strategy, Ernest Mkhonta who was speaking on behalf of the Managing Director said forms for applications will be accepted from Monday 9 August 2021, and thereafter processing for eligible applicants will begin where customers will start enjoying the service from 1 September 2021.
Mkhonta said the admission process shall be on a continuous basis and on a first come first serve basis for 20 000 customers. ‘The process shall continue so long as there is still room for additional beneficiaries,” he said.
According to Eswatini Energy Regulatory Authority (ESERA), a study conducted in 2016 showed that the most vulnerable yet efficient customers need less than 50 units to survive in a month. It also states that in 2018 customer data shows that over 41 000 customers consumed less than 50kWh per month.
ESERA stated that based on the available data the monthly consumption for qualifying customers was then increased to 75kWh following public consultations.
The targeted beneficiaries are low-income households who earn less than E3500 per month and those with low monthly electricity consumption which is at 75kWh per month. Qualifying customers will be expected to provide proof of income, which could be a payslip accompanied by a letter of employment.
Also, customers can use an authorized form which will be dully completed by a community authority which includes, Bucopho and Bagcugcuteli.
Unpacking the appraisal process Mkhonta said the process will be in four stages, where the first stage will be a pre-screening to ensure compliance, eligibility, and feasibility.
The second stage will be that qualifying applicants will be referred to the intermediary for viability analysis including a site visit.
The third stage will be that the viable applications are recommended for subsidy where EEC shall approve inclusion into the inclining block tariff.
The last stage will be a stage where the company will give feedback to applicants. Those that are not success full will also receive feedback and reasons for non-approval and they will be assisted for possible consideration.
Mkhonta encouraged emaSwati to ensure that before submission attachments are included as guided in the electricity subsidy form.