NERSA’s decision to approve a 9.4 percent increase in Eskom electricity tariffs will not solve Eskom’s problem and it may make them worse says the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“What it means is that more businesses and domestic consumers will turn to alternative energy sources to escape the high and seemingly ever-increasing tariffs,” said Ms Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber.
Alternatives included gas for cooking and heating, solar water heaters and roof-top PV panels to supply home-generated electricity.
“Already we have seen the V & A Waterfront turn to solar power and now the airports company has converted its first airport (George) to run on its own solar power. It plans to convert several more, but the really interesting this is that they have given ‘cost containment’ as one of the reasons for the change.
“They have done the arithmetic and the conclusion is that solar power will be cheaper than Eskom power. It is a straight-forward commercial decision and other companies and domestic customers will follow. Eskom is pricing itself out of the market,” Ms Myburgh said.
The Chamber strongly opposed the tariff increases at Nersa’s public hearings in Cape Town and said that Eskom had to find way to cut its costs.
“Now we have a situation where gas is getting cheaper, solar is getting more efficient and Eskom tariffs continue to escalate year on year. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where this is going,” Ms Myburgh said.