Electricity prices to increase in April
Consumers of the Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.) can expect increases to electricity prices from next month.
The state-owned utility’s General Manager, Faumui Iese Toimoana, told the Samoa Observer that the new tariff rates had already been approved by the Office of the Regulator.
Domestic consumers using cash power will pay $0.43 per unit for 1-50 kilowatts and $0.57 per unit for 51 kilowatts and over.
Non-domestic consumers using cash power will be charged at a rate of $0.57 for all units.
Faumui said that the $0.02 sene increase was caused by the continuous increase in fuel prices.
He explained that while fuel prices have increased in previous months, the E.P.C. has tried to maintain electricity prices at an affordable rate for consumers until now.
“It is the aim of this Corporation to try and make the cost of electricity for the people of Samoa more affordable,” he said.
Global oil prices have surged in recent months after dropping steeply in the wake of the global pandemic.
The E.P.C. Chief noted the Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package in 2020 included a $0.10 sene reduction in the cost of electricity and an acknowledgement of Samoans’ financial hardships.
“So far, this assistance is still ongoing but it was supposed to conclude in December 2020,” he told the Samoa Observer.
Faumui also said that another factor to consider was renewable energy.
“As of February this year, electricity has been produced from 52 per cent of renewable energy sources while 48 per cent is from fossil fuel,” he said.
So far, the E.P.C. has around 40,000 consumers of electricity in Samoa however, Faumui said that while they have been receiving more applications for new consumers, the demand for electricity has decreased.
He said that with the impacts of COVID-19 on the country, especially with border closures decreasing electricity usage compared to when electricity use was surging:
“This has a negative impact on [the] E.P.C. with less demand comes less profit but we are trying our best to give our people the best service in terms of electricity supply.”