BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) has expressed fear over the operationalisation of Power Market Limited (PML) arguing that the move will hurt consumers further.
In a letter dated March 17, 2022 addressed to Ministry of Energy Principal Secretary, CAMA executive director John Kapito argued that electricity prices are already beyond the affordability of many consumers saying establishing institutions like PML would be a cost to consumers.
“Currently, consumers are paying MK2 per kilowatt for the functions of the single buyer and the decision by government to create an independent parastatal for the function of the single buyer will demand a higher electricity tariff increase for the operations of the single buyer.
“Public sector reforms are intended to bring efficiencies and reduce the cost of doing business and, therefore, the establishment of PML creates a huge cost for the supply of electricity which can be avoided if left within Escom,” reads in part CAMA statement.
Kapito adds; “Consumers in Malawi are already paying high tariffs for inefficient delivery of Electricity and Water Services and it is unfair for Government to begin creating unnecessary institutions and continue to pass on such unnecessary costs to Consumers”
“We repeat the creation of Power Market Limited is an insult and lack of sensitivity by government to create unnecessary and unjustified cost for the supply of electricity”.
CAMA boss concludes, “Electricity is one of the triggers for the high cost of living in the country and it is important for Government to find alternative ways on how it can ensure removal of unnecessary costs that would inflate higher tariffs for Electricity.
“ESCOM has got the capacity both technical and administratively to handle the Single Buyer function as its efficiency can not be improved by creating unnecessary institutions that will hurt Consumers”.
PML was granted a single buyer licence by the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) in December 2020 to buy all electricity from power producers, including importing and selling this electricity in Malawi.
Mera consumer affairs and public relations manager Fitina Khonje justified PML establishment saying that the move is to ensure independence, financial on market transactions.
Khonje added that PML will ensure that market players are duly and timely paid for the services they would have rendered in the power market.