Energy Fiji Limited has proposed an increase of 17.21% in the tariff for power consumption by both domestic and commercial users.
The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission is now inviting submissions from the public, only a month away before making a decision.
EFL says in its submission that an increase in charges/tariff is required because it will ensure that investors/operators business is protected against uncontrollable events which are outside their control.
“This will ensure that the investors/operators future earnings are somewhat protected. Without this protection, a single hit such as a category 5 cyclone can turn the company insolvent and this can become a catastrophic event for Fiji.”
Energy Fiji Limited states that the extremely low electricity tariff rates in Fiji which is lowest in the Pacific countries including some parts of Australia and New Zealand), is the real reason for the lack of entry of private investors and IPPs into Fiji’s electricity generation industry.
“It is rather a fact that investors choose to invest in countries where the electricity tariff is high since they will get better returns. This is one disadvantage of setting tariff structure too low.”
If an increase is granted, EFL says they will better manager their debt and it will send the correct market signals to all electricity users to conserve electricity and hence incentivize them to reduce their electricity consumption through efficient and effective use of electricity, which will help the Fiji government’s and EFL’s initiatives on Demand Side Management.”
The last increase was granted to the then FEA in 2013.
Currently Domestic customers who consume less than or equal to (<=) 100 kWh per month, with Combined household income less than or equal to (<=) $30,000.00 per annum qualifies for government subsidy. Customers who do not qualify pay the full rate. Customers who qualify are subsidized for the first 100 units of consumption.