Eskom buy-back programme no more – Nersa

2013-03-27 15:11

The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) has refused to allow Eskom to charge consumers for its power buy-back programme.

Briefing Parliament’s portfolio committee on energy today, Nersa official Thembani Bukula said buy-back agreements with major industrial users had proved counterproductive.

The programme allowed Eskom to buy back power from major users to curb usage when the electricity grid was tight.

“The buy-backs was an amount of R8.9 billion that Eskom was putting in the tariff to say then when they want to do maintenance on their plants they would go to a company and say: ‘Don’t produce what you are producing, we are going to pay you,’ ... that is what is not allowed,” Bukula said.

Nersa gave various reasons why the programme was “inefficient”.

“When companies are not allowed to produce, then employees will not earn a salary. The ones who are transporting them will not earn,” he said.

“We would give them the whole R8.9 billion if they were to improve the productivity of their own system, the efficiency of their own systems, and also improve the viability of their own power plants.”

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