The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has released revised power tariffs reduced by an average 0.4 percent, with the big consumers mainly industries, benefitting more from this adjustment.
According to the new base tariffs, Ugandans are expected to pay a little lower for electricity consumption next year following approval of the new end-user tariffs.
Domestic or household consumers will still pay 250 Shillings per kilowatt-hour for the first 15 units, while the energy consumed above that will be charged at 750.9 Shillings per unit.
For the other categories which include commercial consumers, medium industrial consumers, large industrial consumers and the extra-large industrial consumers, the charge is based on the energy a consumer used either during peak hours when the demand is at its highest, shoulder when demand is normal or off-peak when there is a low electricity demand usually late in the night.
Commercial consumers who include small scale enterprises will pay an average 645.6 Shillings per unit, which is shs 3.3 less than what they paid over the last three months.
The tariff for medium industrial consumers has been reduced by an average of 10 shillings and 30 cents.
For large and extra-large categories, the average tariff has remained the same at 301.7 Shillings, while at peak hours, they will pay a little more 3.7 Shillings than what they have been paying.
However, the large and extra-large categories will benefit more if they consume energy above the threshold determined by ERA for the respective consumers.
For extra large consumers, this amounts to a reduction of 29.9 Shillings per unit at peak hours and 21.2 Shillings at the shoulder or normal time.
The ERA Head of Corporate and Consumer Affairs, Julius Wandera says the discount for the two categories dubbed the Declining Block, is aimed at keeping the cost of production for manufacturers as low as possible to help keep prices of manufactured goods low.
The new tariff schedule will apply to Umeme customers for the period from January to March 2021.
ERA says the Approved Base Electricity Tariffs shall be subject to quarterly adjustment for changes in international prices of fuel, exchange rates, inflation and the generation mix.
According to ERA, the Uganda shilling registered a loss against the US dollar in November to 3,699.2 Shillings from 3677.57 Shillings in August 2020.
There were also increase in the consumer prices indices in both Uganda and the US between the two periods making the cost of generation, transmission and distribution higher.
However, the fall in global crude oil prices from $45.19 to $40.08 offset some costs of production, leading to the slight lowering of the final consumer tariff.
Further changes in the costs of these items will determine whether to revise the tariffs over the 2021 period or not, according to Wandera.