Uganda: Era Seeks to Grow Electricity Access to 60 Percent

Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) will in the next five years seek to increase access to electricity from 22 per cent to 60 per cent.

ERA, which is mandated to regulate the electricity sub-sector, will also, under its five-year strategic plan, seek to grow per capita electricity consumption from 100 kilowatts per hour to 578 kilowatts per hour.

This will be premised on growth of transmission from the current capacity of 2,354 kilometres to 4,354 kilometres of high voltage transmission lines and grid reliability to 90 per cent.

Electricity access is still largely low with supply only concentrated in urban and semi-urban areas in central and western Uganda.

Northern Uganda continues to suffer under low access and unstable supply with power outages taking days before they are rectified.

During the period, ERA noted, a number of investments will be worked on with at least an average of Shs3b in capital expenditure invested annually.

Recently, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, while releasing the National Household Survey 2020, indicated that despite the country producing more electricity than demanded the number of people connected to the grid had dropped from 22 per cent to 19 per cent.

The report also noted that more Ugandans were now using solar than grid electricity.

In the next five year, according to the strategic plan, ERA will seek to increase revenue earned from generation levy from the current 21.6 per cent to 32.9 per cent.

ERA will also reduce license fees from 74.7 per cent to 63.7 per cent by the end of the 2024/25 financial year.

The five year strategic plan, which will run under the "Reliable and affordable electricity supply for socioeconomic transformation" theme, will also seek to achieve affordable tariffs, reliability and quality of service, among others.

It will also seek to increase reliability and quality of service and supply as well as accelerating access and growing demand.

Ms Ziria Tibalwa Waako, the ERA chief executive officer, said for EAR to achieve its targets, stakeholder management will be needed to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships as well as put in place strong governance, risk, and compliance management policies for prudent leadership.

"There will be people, processes, tools, and institutional sustainability - to attain value-for-money and growth for a competitive electricity regulatory system," she said.

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