Eskom applying for more taxpayer money again

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The National Energy Regulator of South Africa, NERSA, has received Eskom’s Regulatory Clearance Account (RCA) application according to a post on Eskom’s official website.

An RCA essentially requests NERSA to examine Eskom’s actual spending versus its projected spending, and make adjustments accordingly. Should NERSA find that Eskom has over-spent, the RCA process says that the shortfall must be recovered from consumers through tariff hikes. Likewise, should it appear Eskom has under-spent, it must compensate consumers.

In June this year NERSA rejected Eskom’s application and essentially told them to try again later. “Later”, it seems, is now , and this RCA application is Eskom’s latest attempt to recover its costs. These include spending R22.8bn on diesel in 2015 to keep its diesel-powered generators producing power while its engineers performed maintenance on its coal-fired  power stations.

The Democratic Alliance, meanwhile, has come out against this latest move to recover costs from taxpayers for what it calls “Eskom’s continued inefficiency”, and has released a statement on its website to that effect.

“The DA denounces attempts by Eskom today to recover an additional R22.8bn from consumers via the regulatory clearing account (RCA). This is nothing more than rear-guard action to obtain the tariff increases it was denied by NERSA in June this year,” the statement says.

The party goes on to say that “evidence suggests that it is this energy saving of 2000MW-3000MW and the decline in energy demand that is responsible for halting load shedding, not any specific action being taken by Eskom.”

“Eskom’s claim for the need to recover additional funds from the consumer to cover costs incurred to prevent load shedding is therefore, dubious at best and completely misleading at worst.”

NERSA said that it will “…assess Eskom’s application following due regulatory processes.”. Eskom’s full RCA application will be made available on Eskom’s website today, November 13th.

What this will mean for consumers in terms of how much electricity will go up by over the next three years, however, is not yet clear.

[Source – Eskom, DA, Image – CC BY-SA 3.0 – NordNordWestderivative work by Htonl]

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.