Outa said on Monday that Eskom’s latest application to hike up its rates was based on claiming costs for electricity it had never generated.
The former Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance‚ now rebranded as the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse‚ is challenging the power utility’s bid to have the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) give it permission to up its rates.
The organization announced on Monday that it had contracted energy analyst Ted Bloom to lead its campaign against electricity price increases‚ especially since Nersa had cancelled public hearings into the issue‚ saying there had been a “lack of interest”.
Outa said in its statement: “Eskom has a claim of R22.8 billion in terms of the Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) despite making a profit of R7.1 Billion in the 2013/2014 financial year. OUTA believes this is unjust and that most of the claim should have been averted through more prudent management in numerous areas‚ by Eskom’s leadership.”
Despite the official end of the hearings‚ Outa is urging the public to join it in opposing the rate hikes‚ and has opened a portal (www.OUTA.co.za) through which objections can be registered.
“There are glaring concerns that speak to the inefficiencies within Eskom which we believe must be urgently addressed‚” Outa said.
Outa is also contesting the basis on which Eskom is applying for an increased tariff‚ saying that Eskom was claiming “electricity costs and revenue from the public for electricity production it projected‚ but which it did not in fact generate”.
“This is akin to a service provider charging somebody full price for a service it said it would render‚ but which it in fact never rendered‚ or claiming from insurance for a loss envisioned‚ but that didn’t occur.”
Among a series of other charges‚ Outa also says that “Eskom intends to pass a preventable and unfair over-expenditure (estimated at R10 Billion) onto consumers”.
“Eskom questionably employed overly-expensive Diesel Turbines when Coal Fired Infrastructure was not running at full capacity‚ and intends to pass a R8 Billion bill related to diesel consumption on to consumers.”