Omuthiya — The Northern Regions Electricity Distributor (Nored) has introduced special tariffs for pensioners and people living with disabilities.
The discounted rates are only available to those whose metre number is registered under their name. All eligible pensioners and people living with disabilities have to do is visit the nearest Nored office to be registered for the special provision, Nored informed a stakeholder meeting yesterday at Okashana.
However, Nored says the special tariffs might not save money if the beneficiaries plug in energy-consuming appliances.
Nored's executive manager for corporation, Toivo Shovaleka, said Nored has vowed to make electricity accessible to the people and has committed N$10 million each financial year to the programme.
"As part of our corporate citizenship, we have made donations to the tune of N$880 000 during the 2016/17 financial year, and we have also resolved to subsidize new domestic connections as well as absorb the cost of maintaining and energy of street lights below 125kw," added Shovaleka.
The investment started during the 2015/16 financial year.
Shovaleka, however, noted that they do have a connection backlog but they are working towards addressing the issue very soon and this will be done through contracting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for new connections projects. They have also decentralised the quotation services to the regions as opposed to the past where all quotations were forwarded to the head office.
Nevertheless, Nored says its efforts to roll out electricity are being hampered by communal landowners who deny Nored access to the fenced off land to connect neighbours to the electricity grid.
"We want to approach the traditional authorities in this regard so that they can inform the communities. Other challenges include vandalism and theft as well as non-payment by some institutions. How can we pay Nampower if some entities are not paying their accounts? You are encouraged to settle your accounts so that we can provide services efficiently," he stressed. Meanwhile, Nored says it recorded an increase in profit of 8 percent this year over the last financial year, with an annual turnover of N$846.4 million. Nored's asset base is now at N$1.3 billion. The customer base is at 79 781 clients, 76 705 of whom are prepaid. The large chunk of Nored's income is derived from post-paid users who on a monthly basis put in an average of N$54 million in Nored's coffers, while prepaid generates N$38 million.