The Mozambican electricity company, EDM, has requested authorization from the government to increase electricity prices, reports Wednesday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”.Speaking in the southern province of Inhambane, the EDM spokesperson, Luis Amado, said the increase proposed was 1.32 meticais (around two US cents) per kilowatt hour. “We hope this is approved, and a price rise for next year as well”, said Amado, “until we reach a point where what we buy is reflected in the price we sell to the public. Then we will have a platform on which to grow and expand sustainably”.He recognized that a price increase will hit consumers in their pockets, but argued there is no other way out, given the financial crisis facing EDM.In November 2016, EDM increased electricity prices by an average of 1.49 meticais per kilowatt-hour – the first increase in the price of electricity for five years. In percentage terms, the prices rose by between 27 and 40 per cent. The price per kilowatt-hour roses from 4.16 to 5.8 meticais for consumers on the low voltage general tariff (for industries, trade, offices, shops and similar establishments) who use up to 300 kilowatt-hours a month.
This was an increase of 39 per cent.Use of more than 300 kilowatt-hours pushed the price up steeply. Between 301 and 500 kilowatt-hours the price rose from 5.94 to 8.29 meticais per kilowatt-hour. Above 500 kilowatt-hours a month, the increase was from 6.5 to 9.07 meticais per kilowatt hour.The preferential household tariff is considerably lower. For the first 300 kilowatt-hours, the price rose from 2.95 to 4.04 meticais per kilowatt hour, and between 301 and 500 kilowatt-hours a month from 4.17 to 5.72 meticais per kilowatt-hour. Consumption in excess of 500 kilowatt-hours now cost six meticais rather than 4.38 meticais per kilowatt hour. This increase is 37 per cent.Farmers enjoy a lower tariff. This agricultural tariff rose by only 27 per cent, from 2.68 to 3.4 meticais per kilowatt hour for the first 300 kilowatt-hours, and rising to 5.3 meticais per kilowatt hour for consumption in excess of 500 kilowatt-hours.In addition, all these consumers pay an additional fixed rate, irrespective of consumption, which rose from 108.82 to 152.37 meticais a month (a 40 per cent rise).The “social tariff” for low income domestic consumers who use less than 100 kilowatt-hours a month remained unchanged, at 1.07 meticais per kilowatt-hour.Speaking to reporters at the time, the chairperson of the EDM board, Mateus Magala, said price rises were essential “in order to mobilize resources to ensure universal access to electricity by 2030”.Magala said that, with a general tariff equivalent to 5.3 US cents per kilowatt hour, Mozambican electricity remained the cheapest in the region. In other members of SADC (Southern African Development Community), electricity cost 12.5 US cents per kilowatt-hour, which made further investment possible, and this greater access to electricity.