BY AMBROSE GAHENE
The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa, has given manufacturers and Ugandan Industry proprietors a go ahead to purchase electricity directly from power transmission companies. She said this would make it easier for power to be more affordable to Ugandans.
Ms Nankabirwa said her ministry is spearheading the amendment of the Electricity Act 1999 to allow the purchase of electricity directly from power generators and/ or transmission companies by big industrial customers to reduce the end user tariff for manufacturers.
She added that the move was one of the strategies that have been set up by her ministry to continuously reduce the end user tariffs for all electricity consumers in the country.
The minister said Uganda has registered an increase in power generation and access to electricity following the increased number of Electricity Distribution Operators licensed by the Electricity Regulatory Authority.
Electricity distribution companies include Umeme Limited, West Nile Rural Electrification Company, Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited, Kyegegwa Rural Energy Co-operative Society, Pader-Abim Community Multi-Purpose Electric Co-operative Society, Kilembe Investments Limited, and Kalangala Infrastructure Services Limited.
Ms Nankabirwa said there are several other small off-grid service providers and private providers for solar home systems, who have improved access to 57 per cent (19 per cent on the grid and 38 per cent off-grid), according to the 2019/2020 access statistics released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.
Ms Nankabirwa said her ministry and its agencies are also holding quarterly stakeholder engagements with Uganda Manufacturers Association to discuss issues concerning power reliability, challenges faced by individual industrial consumers, electricity tariff trajectory, and demand growth initiatives, among others.