The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has proposed tariff reduction for residential, commercial, and industrial centers. The new tariffs are expected to come into force in January 2022.
The Executive Director for Commercial and Regulatory Services at the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) Sam Zimbe said the current commercial losses at the Corporation are mainly a result of power theft being perpetrated by residential and commercial consumers.
Mr. Zimbe noted that the new Power Theft Law is expected to help LEC address the high levels of power theft.
Submitting the proposal for tariffs increment during a public hearing organized by the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) he said the Corporation is opting for an increasing Block Tariff structure for residential tariffs to be introduced with different increasing tariffs for different increasing consumption blocks to address an equity/fairness concern in order to offer preferential tariffs to low-income households and also to incentivize better demand management.
LEC is also proposing the introduction of an extra-large customer category to provide incentives for customers involved in manufacturing and above a rating of 1500 kVA per month, Mr. Zimbe told the hearing.
He explained that the Corporation proposes that current residential pre-paid tariff be reduced from US$.0.35 to US$.0.30, residential post-paid from US$.0.35 to US$.0.30, commercial prepaid from US$.0.35 to US$.0.27, and commercial post-paid from US$.0.35 to US$.0.27, among others.
Mr. Zimbe continued that technical losses are stated at 12% but the level may be up to 15%, explaining that detailed assessment of technical losses has not been carried out, and the exercise requires a huge investment in the installation of feeder metering, but due to financial constraints, meters have not been installed on all feeders to allow a more scientific assessment of the technical losses on the MV and LV network.
He recalled that since January 2018, LEC has taken an active part in managing the closeout of construction and rehabilitation of Mount Coffee Hydro Power Plant, the Mount Coffee 66 KV substations and transmission lines to Bushrod and Paynesville as well as the refurbishment and capacity increases of Paynesville, Kru Town, and Bushrod 66/22 kV substations.
The public hearing, the first in the sector, was chaired by Dr. Lawrence D. Sekajipo, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners (BoC), and brought together stakeholders, management, donors, interest groups, and the public.
Dr. Sekajipo said the public hearing was in accordance with “Section 13.7(1)(h) of the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia (the “Law”) and the related regulations issued by the Commission.”
The purpose of the Law and these Regulations, Chairman Sekajipo said, was to ensure that all affected parties have “a fair and meaningful opportunity for participation” in the decision-making process of the Commission.
He told participants at the hearing that as required by the Law and related regulations, the Commission’s decision on LEC’s application will be rendered in writing within 20 days of hearing and will address all substantive comments raised during the hearing or submitted to the LERC.
He assured stakeholders that copies of the Commission’s written decision will be sent to all parties including individuals who provided written comments or oral testimonies during the hearing.
The LEC recently submitted an application for Tariff Review in adherence to Section 13.7 of the 2015 ELL, the Electricity Tariff Regulations of May 4, 2021, and LERC’s Administrative Procedure Regulations of September 2020.
In March 2021, LERC provisionally approved a request from LEC to implement an “Incentive Framework” for large electricity consumers using high security pre-paid meters. The proposed incentive level provides a 22% discount for large customers using the high-security prepaid meters which equate to around US$0.27/kWh.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/depoliticize-lec-to-make-it-vibrant/