By KETRA KALUNGA
ZESCO should harmonise tariff levels with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) once the Electricity Cost of Service Study is concluded, the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) has said CUTS programme coordinator, Ishmael Zulu, expressed confidence that the study would put to rest the disputes regarding tariff charges between Zesco and the IPPs because it would establish how much it costs the two parties to produce electricity.
Mr. Zulu said in an interview that Zesco and the IPPs had for a long time been at loggerheads with regard to electricity traffic charges and that the Electricity Cost of Service Study would put an end to the dispute. He said the study would inform how much it costs for the two power producers to produce electricity so that consumers pay cost-reflective tariffs which he said were exorbitant. “One of the first steps to end exorbitant tariff charges is to expedite the process of carrying out the cost of service study because Zesco has been at loggerheads with the IPPs at what price they should be buying power from the IPPs,” he said.
Mr Zulu said once the study was completed, tariff charges would reduce because both Zesco and IPPs would be able to speak from a unifying perspective as they would be able to understand the exact cost of producing electricity. He said CUTS as one of the stakeholders involved in the review of the study would affirm that progress has been made in concluding the study which was commendable. Mr. Zulu commended the Energy Regulation Board for being instrumental in ensuring that the study which is under review by various stakeholders is concluded.