Gaborone — Botswana Power Corporation's (BPC) recent increase of electricity tariffs was to ensure that rates are cost reflective.
The tariffs, according to BPC marketing and communications manager, Ms Dineo Seleke, were among the lowest in the region and the increase was a conscious decision to cushion other operational costs.
Giving an update on the BPC response to COVID-19, Ms Seleke noted that part of the organisation's Masa 2020 Transformational strategy was to have cost reflective tariffs and mitigate the high import costs.
She expressed hope that the organisation was moving in the right direction owing to successful projects which were envisaged to be commissioned soon. Such projects would aid power supply such as the 400KV North West Transmission grid which was at 86 per cent complete.
Ms Seleke added that 50MW by two solar stations project was underway and awaiting the procurement process to complete. She said the aim was to have BPC as an independent power producing utility.
She explained that BPC was responding to Covid-19 protocols and reliable electricity supply to its customers was their priority.
Ms Seleke noted that all those who were disconnected due to defaulting connection payments were reconnected and a flexible repayment contract would be rolled out soon.
She added that despite the fact that home usage of electricity had spiked, their main customers had scaled down and some completely closed down usage as there was minimal industrial activity. At the time extreme social distancing measures were implemented electricity demand was around 450MW.
BPC customer service manager Mr Gift Pelaelo said they had stopped connection applications as a way of abiding by social distancing measures and currently priority is to keep the lights on.