Electricity distribution company, Umeme Limited, pledged to continue focusing on growth and efficiency related projects especially that the power generation capacity for Uganda is set to increase when the dams under construction are completed.
Speaking at the 2018 tariff review public hearing Thursday at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Sam Zimbe, the deputy managing director of Umeme, said the company is committed to long term investments in the distribution network and achieving sustainable tariffs.
Umeme is also focusing on energy loss reduction, generation of more demand for power, supporting stakeholders and incentivizing performance, according to Zimbe.
For instance, he noted, during the half-year of 2017, a total of US$99m was invested in the network.
Some of the key projects that were executed include; the construction of a 40 MVA Moniko substation in Lugazi and Mbalala, completion of Namugongo integration lines, GetFit mini hydro project integration lines, upgrade of Lugogo to Kibuli lines, refurbishment of lines in Kabale, Mukono and Pallisa, rollout of prepaid metering and upgrading Namanve Industrial Park, conversion of Government of Uganda accounts to prepaid metering and the upgrade of power transformers across the country.
The above aside, he said that the company injected about US$ 1.5m in automated metering so as to improve metering and revenue cycle efficiency, in terms of prepayment metering, US$ 30m has been injected in new connections and US$ 10m to post-paid customer conversion.
Commenting on the results of prepayment, Mr Zimbe said it â€œhas helped the company improve its revenue collection to 99% from 80% in 2005 hence reducing energy losses to 17.5% compared to 38% in 2005 when it took over the management of the distribution network.â€�
In the same meeting, Zimbe proposed the need to have a single uniform tariff for Domestic customer.
This comes after various complaints of variation in computation of Yaka tokens received from the public.
â€œThe regulatory needs to review the lifeline tariff for all Domestic customers (Yaka user) and set a uniform standing chargesâ€� Mr. Zimbe said, adding this will help reduce end user tariffs.
Introduction of energy rebate is also key especially for industrial customers, he said.
The electricity distribution network has grown from 250,000 customers in March 2005 to over 1,000,000 as of June 30, 2017 with the connections at an average of 13% per annum.
By 2020, Umeme targets to increase electricity penetration to 40%, Mr. Zimbe said.
Umeme has also largely focused on capital investment, restoration and expansion of the grid, reduction in energy losses, improvements in efficiencies, rollout of prepaid metering, connections of new customers to the grid, and improving public safety improved service delivery, reliability of supply and improving public safety.
Since Umeme took over power distribution in Uganda in 2005, Zimbe said, there has been a huge turn round on the quality of service, access and growth, maintenance efficiency, infrastructure restoration and expansion, best technological innovations and management capability development, all using private capital under the largely successful Public-Private Partnerships.
read more here: ChimpReports. This post is syndicated.