Business, Politics, Technology

Electricity Regulatory Authority, to whom exactly are you accountable to?

By Jannette Mugisha

Why do you collaborate with UMEME in constraining demand for electricity in the open by raising electricity tariffs as if you lack in-house economists?

Does the principle of economies of scale by selling more electricity units ever come to your boardroom as the optimal GDP growth scenario as opposed to maximizing revenue by squeezing a paltry 800,000 consumers to sustain their income statements ?

We all know that ERA absconded its responsibilities when they allowed the regulation model to be based on their Nov 2006 amendments to the concession agreement of UMEME in which contrary to section 15/16&17 of the electricity Act, Cap 145 of 1999. Which dictates that only ERA sets tariffs. by your own admission to Gen Saleh investigation committee you agreed that the 6 prominent persons who amended that agreement did it illegally the result of which increased the end user tariff by 47% and you elected to continue regulating with this fraud as a cushion to the base line tariff.

The law mandates that you name these prominent persons and have them prosecuted.

Why did you include transaction costs of refinancing Bujagali in the 2018 tariff? Yet you knew that the Isabalija proposal of buying back Bujagali can never be cost effective as you have to compensate the “angel” investors, SITHE global not just for investment not yet aumotized but most importantly their planned cash flows for 10yrs which if done would actually raise Bujagali tariff.

Are you aware that some far, about US $7 million has already been spent not by Ugandans but Bujagali “lenders” making phone calls amongst themselves, reviewing your proposal, planning meetings on how to frustrate the refinancing etc. We know Bujagali so called lenders are not lenders. They borrowed to own our dam. Now you transfer those useless transaction costs to us innocent consumers. But most importantly UMEME buys from Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited owned by Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda at 260.9(WABST) which includes the high cost of Bujagali and then umeme sells to us at almost 1000ugx a unit. Given your mandate to protect both the consumer and the investor, what the hell are you regulating? And why should tax payers money be spent on regulating the sector which regulation, or rather the failure to do so has kicked this economy in the guts with a slowdown of 3% annually in the lost GDP growth because of de-industrialization caused by this evidently in unregulated tariff founded on an illegal amendment.

Electricity Regulatory Authority, apart from those expensive trips you make to Europe, what plans do you have to boost demand to match supply? You amended to capacity charge Power Purchase Agreements for Karuma and Isimba expecting that who will pay for that idle capacity yet you know that the dilapidated distribution grid can’t take more than 530MW?

Why do you fail to protect consumers as required of you by the electricity Act cap 145 of 1999?

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