Dept looks at cutting power costs
Johannesburg - The energy department is examining ways of reducing the cost of electricity, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Monday.
"The department of energy, relevant departments and Eskom are looking at other ways of reducing electricity tariff increases," Peters said in a speech prepared for delivery to the Black Management Forum in Kimberley.
This was in response to a call by President Jacob Zuma in his state-of-the-nation address for cheaper electricity.
Zuma said: "We need an electricity price path which will ensure that Eskom and the industry remain financially viable and sustainable, but which remains affordable, especially for the poor".
"I have asked Eskom to seek options on how the price increase requirement may be reduced over the next few years, in support of economic growth and job creation, and give me proposals for consideration."
Peters said the government would soon say how this would be done.
The government would make pronouncements on its building of nuclear power stations later in the year.
"Section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act empowers the minister of energy to determine who should build what in terms of energy infrastructure," she said.
"That developer will determine where to source that technology and the broader EPC [engineering, procurement and construction]."
In the Budget review for 2010 presented last week, R300bn over 17 years was allocated to Eskom's nuclear build programme, The Times reported.
The 20-year integrated resource plan for electricity envisaged 23% of the country's energy coming from nuclear power in the future.