By Neelam Rahim
There has been much debate and criticism after Eskom’s proposals in its new tariff plan to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa emerged. The proposed retail tariff plan is a revision of a 2020 submission to the regulator. If approved by Nersa, following a public consultation process, the changes will be in place from 1 April 2023. This includes a proposed new tariff for residential consumers, charging them based on the time they use electricity. Eskom wants its customers to pay for using the grid and its generation capacity even if they use solar power.
In conversation with Radio Islam International, Eskom’s Leshoto Pooe explains the rationale behind Eskom restructuring its tariffs.
“We want our energy charges to reflect the cost of generation correctly. Our network charges to correctly reflect the cost of transmission and distribution and services charges to reflect the cost of administration,” she says.
According to Leshoto, Eskom last restructured its tariffs ten years ago, which the electricity industry has evolved so much, and Eskom’s tariffs need to evolve as the industry develops.
She says. First, it was just customers consuming energy, and now we have consumers producing energy. As a result, the tariff needs to be looked at and modernised to make the change in the industry.
She added that this would cover Eskom’s sixth cost charges, and Eskom will now be charging a flat rate as consumption increases.
In response to questions by Radio Islam, Leshoto said Eskom would not be charging consumers totally off the grid as they will no longer be connected to the Eskom network.
Regarding the use of the hybrid system [the use of both solar and Eskom electricity], Leshoto says Eskom does not have a tariff specifically for solar customers.
“Whether you’re using solar or not, for instance, in residential, the tariff structure is still the same.”
For residential, Eskom is introducing a new time of use tariff which also has an off-the-grid for PV customers. If you produce excess energy and inject it into the grid, Eskom will then credit you for the power you have exported onto the Eskom grid.
Listen to the full interview on Radio Islam’s podcast below.