Load-shedding on cards

WHILE Eskom waits to hear whether or not it may increase electricity tariffs, a load-shedding threat looms. The energy provider will know by the end of the month whether the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) has approved its submission for the regulatory clearing account (RCA) balance for its previous multi-year price determination control period, from April 2010 to March 2013. As Eskom initially determines its price based on projections, the RCA is put in place as a mechanism to adjust for over- and under-recovery of revenue. This means that if the adjustment is more than 2% up or down, the tariff will be adjusted accordingly. If needed, the adjustments would take effect from April 1 next year. "We will endeavour to keep all stakeholders, especially our customers, informed of any developments on Nersa's decisions on the RCA balance and subsequent tariff adjustments as decisions are made," Eskom acting chief executive Collin Matjila said. At the same time, Eskom warns, it needs voluntary savings of at least 10% to manage electricity demand. The colder weather had seen a spike in energy demand. "In the event that load-shedding becomes necessary, Eskom will use the published load-shedding schedules available on the Eskom website," it said. – Riaan Marais