The cost of electricity for the months leading to March have been reduced marginally by 1.2 per cent.

The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) in the base end user tariff applicable between January and March maintained the cost of the first 15 units of electricity at Shs250.

A marginal reduction was implemented throughout the other consumption categories.

For instance, domestic consumers will now pay Shs751.7 per unit from Shs752.5 last year while commercial consumers will pay Shs649.4 per unit from Shs666.1.

Medium industrial customers will pay a Shs20.4 reduction from Shs595.6 to Shs575.2 whereas large industries will pay Shs362.4 from Shs364.

Extra-large industries will now pay Shs302.2 from Shs302.6 per unit of electricity consumed.

Street lighting

Last year, the regulator made a historic reduction awarding a half tariff reduction to street lighting category.

However, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the custodian of street lights continued to demand a reduction, imploring the regulator to eliminate charges for the lights.

Even then, the regulator tasked the city authorities to fulfil some conditions such as ensuring all bulbs are functional, before any subsidy is awarded.

Subsequently, KCCA will up to March continue paying a charge for the electricity now at Shs370 from Shs370.4 in December.

Declining block tariff

Meanwhile, at the close of the year, the electricity regulator announced that it would be introducing a declining block tariff, with an aim of increasing electricity consumption.

The declining block tariff essentially awards discounts to industrialists who consume more electricity than the target set by the regulator.

Uganda currently has a generation capacity of 1179megawatts and about 650MW of peak demand.

ERA last year said individual large scale industrialists would have a target set based on their consumption, which would be relayed through Umeme, the power distributor.

The target would apply to 37 extra- large industrialists and 600 large scale industrialists who together consume over 60 per cent of the electricity sold.

For this quarter, ERA has set the declining block tariff at Shs470.1 during the hours between 6am to midnight, for large industrialists who would ordinarily consume Shs483.5 before they hit the target.

Extra-large industrialists will enjoy a tariff set at Shs289.2 during peak hours after hitting their set target, which is slightly lower than the Shs396.1 they would have incurred before reaching the target.

The tariffs were determined against Shs3699.5 exchange rate against the dollar, core consumer price index at 174.62 and United States producer price index at 208.8.

Source: Monitor