• ERB has not received any application from ZESCO to revise its connection fees.
• Zesco is bound to strict adherence of the conditions governing its standard license for power supply.
• Anyone subjected to the reported new charges should bring it to the attention of the ERB.
Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has urged members of the public to disregard the reported revised fees by Zesco Limited for electricity connection and separation of meters.
ERB Public Relations Manager Namukolo Kasumpa said the Board has not received any application from the country’s power utility firm to revise its connection fees upwards as legally required under the ERB Act No.12 of 2019 and the electricity Act No.11 of 2019.
Ms. Kasumpa explained that Zesco is bound to strict adherence of the conditions governing its standard license for power supply , hence any changes in whatever form as reported in some sections of the media does not have ERB’s approval and is therefore null and void.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Energy Regulation Act under section 4(j) vests the power and function to determine, regulate and review charges and tariffs in the ERB. Further section 25 of ZESCO’s Standard License for the supply of electricity unequivocally proscribes ZESCO from changing tariffs or any other charges for any product or services provided in the course of the licensed activity without the prior approval of the ERB,” Ms. Kasumpa said.
She stated that at the last tariff application in 2019, Zesco applied for a revision in electricity tariffs and connection charges and only the tariffs were approved and revised.
“The application by ZESCO to revise connection charges by 213 % was deferred pending an in-depth study and further consultations by Zesco. As such, ZESCO was guided to re-submit an application for connection fees once these conditions were met,” she explained.
Ms. Kasumpa added that the power utility firm has however not re-submitted an application to revise the connection fees upwards or for removal of subsidies, therefore anyone subjected to the reported new charges should bring it to the attention of the ERB as guided and section 4 (e) of the Energy Regulation Act.
On 10th February 2022, ZESCO Limited issued a Memorandum that it could employ the use of market reflective fees for all new electricity fees with the rationale of providing effective service to consumers, which will see an increase in the cost of new electricity connections from K1, 700 to K6, 995, while the cost of meter separation will also be hiked from K750 to K6, 000.