Stage One load shedding from 8am - Eskom applies for 25% increase on tariffs

MAY 9, 2015

Eskom announced on Saturday morning that Stage 1 Load Shedding will commence from 08h00-22h00. In a statement, the state-owned parastatal said that a spike in demand, due to cooler temperatures, had resulted in the grid becoming constrained and the implementation of controlled blackouts.

"Any unexpected changes on the constrained power system could lead to a change in the stage at short notice. Eskom will keep you updated," it Tweeted.

Meanwhile, the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) confirmed on Friday that it had received Eskom’s application for the selective reopening of the final three years of the third multi-year price determination (MYPD3) decision, which began on April 1, 2013 and will continue until March 31, 2018.

Should the application be approved, the 2015/16 increase would surge to 25.3%, inclusive of the 12.69% already granted for the current financial year.

An additional 10.1% was attributed to the extra costs associated with operating the open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) for extended periods, as well as the extension of the short-term power purchase programme (STPPP). Earlier this year, Nersa approved Eskom’s application to operate the OCGTs for up to 450 GWh a month, while the acquisition of over 800 MW of private power under the STPPP was renewed only marginally ahead of the March 31, 2015, expiry date.

The 2.51% balance, meanwhile, related to the 2c/kWh increase in the environmental levy announced by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in February. However, this pass-through amount would only be included once the necessary legislative framework was in place.

Excluding the levy, the 2015/16 increase would be 22.27%. For the full three-year period, the cash-strapped utility was seeking R52.8-billion for its additional use of the expensive diesel-fuelled OCGTs (R32.9-billion) and the extension of the STPPP agreements (R19.9-billion) with independent power producers.