electricity tariff

Hike in Electricity Tariff: Why I am not bothered

Let me be rather frank with you, the grid electricity tariff has only one way to go. That is up, up, up! A lot of us do not even know that continuous increment of electricity charge is built-in statutorily as a matter of course. You may refer to such nuances like MYTO (multi-year tariff order), CRT (cost-reflective tariff), SBT (service-based tariff), etc.

Some customers under Kaduna Electric will now pay N56.31/kWh up from N40/kWh. I pause to reflect that many electricity consumers do not know their energy rate. Do you? What is the rate that you are paying in your home, what about the office, and madam’s factory? Let us be a little bit more informed, so we are exploited less.

But, why would this hike in tariff not bother me a hoot? I have locked in my electricity price (‘tariff’) since the last three years and for the next 20 years more or less. This was possible because I ‘bought’ my electricity with an upfront payment (so called capital cost). So, nobody can hike my electricity price; actually, it is beyond their reach and outside their control. I took it in my own hands to invest in solar photovoltaic power system with energy storage. It was a big deal committing the fund but it was made clear that I was paying for my energy upfront. Nowadays, there are other ways to lock-in the prices without much initial capital spend through models like PPA (Power Purchase Agreement), PAYGO (Pay-As-You-Go), etc.

I did cover some loose ends; for instance, I pitched my tent with a competent, reliable, empathic solutions provider in the pedigree of Eclipse Power Nig. Ltd., who pays attention to safety, cost-efficiency beside quality. The rains this season have been heavy and frequently cloudy, despite these conditions, the solar installation still gets me through to the next day. What a professional job! (Team Eclipse Power, my prayers.) I got schooled along the way as the company shared with me from their wealth of technical knowledge. (Their training courses will sure be the go-to programme for renewable energy knowledge acquisition.)

The current 50% hike in grid electricity tariff, kicking off from 1 September 2020, in spite of dismal supply, cannot be the last. Rather, the coming increases will ever be bigger. Why would I be bold to say this? Simple. Read the line of thought surrounding the modalities of the current hike; the handwriting is clear: you will pay more as the hours of grid supply increases. Customers having power supply of 12 hours and above pay this 50% hike. So, when you have 16, 20, 24(?) hours, you will cough out more; and that is notwithstanding the imminent increase for inflation, escalating operating cost, demand for higher returns by investors, etc.

You may be interested to know that the 50% hike is for the next four months (till end December 2020); so, January 2021 is another time for an increase in electricity tariff. Not unlike the gestation period in goats. The increase affects homes, businesses, industries, and even street lights.

With my rooftop solar power system, working from home is seamless, and my children’s online learning is uninterrupted. Effectually, I am not locked down; I only locked in my energy access. Businesses are also powered by solar energy whether by full upfront payment or on contracts such as PPA or PAYGO.

But, honestly, what will bother us all, it the imminent hike in prices of foodstuffs and other commodities. Even the barbershop will cut hair for more money. I am sure, by now, you know who gains – the DisCos. Talking about the movement of money; much like in the Law of Conservation of energy, the money is not lost but simply shifted from one pocket to another.

If you bother about energy security, or you are in doubt, talk to such competent solar power solutions company like Eclipse Power (www.eclipsepower.ng; solar@eclipsepower.ng; @eclipsepowerNG). For me, I have locked in, and do not bother about the present or future electricity tariff hikes. I even look forward to the immediate future where I will sell from my solar power to neighbours or to the DisCos.

Solar Customer, 02 September 2020, Abuja, Nigeria. ©2020

Originally posted 2020-09-03 03:38:25.

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