… As NEST pilot project kicks off
By Hileni Nembwaya
OSHAKATI Premier Electric (OPE) has launched the National Electricity Support Tariff (NEST) pilot project, aimed at connecting household customers that are willing to convert to a 15 amperes low-capacity prepaid connection.
The NEST pilot project was developed by the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Electricity Control Board (ECB), and approved by Cabinet, in order to make basic electricity consumption affordable, through the offering a subsidised tariff option on a low circuit breaker rating.
NEST will be available only to residential households, and not to any business, even if the business is conducted from a residential premises.
Speaking at the launch, ECB Chief Executive Officer, Foibe Namene, said that through the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the ECB is mandated by Cabinet to implement the NEST mechanism nationally.
“The first phase will be piloted through the OPE from 1 August, ahead of the planned national implementation in 2018. Affordable electricity is also safer than traditional energy forms, which are in fact more expensive,” said Namene.
She further noted that the NEST will provide financial relief to low-income households in the country, by offering a subsidised tariff on a low circuit breaker rating of 15 amperes for the first 200 units.
“The OPE was identified to pilot the project, because it is one of the entities offering modern metering and vending infrastructure, and is in a well-defined urban area, and currently serves a wide cross-section of domestic electricity users.
“The next few months of this pilot phase are very crucial for the successful national rollout of this project, which is planned to take place next year,” she said.
OPE CEO, Nelson Sheya, said that the community’s response to the project has been overwhelming, and he believes that the support tariff mechanism will complement their efforts of providing affordable electricity.
“We further believe that a combination of these efforts will ensure inclusiveness, as far as the benefits of electricity are concerned, because we envisage that the customers benefiting from free connection are again going to benefit from the support tariff mechanism,” he said.
Converting to the NEST connection will be done free of charge for customers who
already have a prepaid electricity meter, and customers who have a post-paid household connection may also apply, but they will be charged OPE’s standard fee for conversion to a prepaid connection.
Customers on this low connection will buy the first 50 units of electricity for N$1.15 per unit, compared to the normal rate of N$2.06 per unit.
Between 51 and 200 units will be sold to these consumers for N$1.61 per unit, while more than 200 units will be sold to them for N$2.06 per unit.
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