Report from AMEU executive


Vally Padayachee, the AMEU’s strategic advisor, presented a report from the Association of Municipal Electrical Utilities (AMEU) executive meeting which took place in Hogsback recently.
The meeting held with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) resulted in municipalities having to rethink their electricity supply business models in the light of recent technological and environmental developments.

The discussions centred on the need for change in energy sources. Proposals have been made that energy sources other than electricity should be used for heating and cooking. These however, must comply with safety regulations.

The AMEU is aware of the erosion of revenue suffered by many municipalities and understands the damage this erosion causes to a municipality’s ability to meet its service delivery commitments. Municipalities need to protect their revenue streams carefully. To do this effectively, all municipalities must undertake thorough cost-of-supply studies to determine the true cost of electricity to the municipality. This will, Padayachee said, enable local municipalities to calculate the real difference between the revenue received from the sale of electricity and the cost of supplying it. In this way, a municipality will be able to determine how much money to allocate to other municipal costs.

Padayachee said that the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) will roll out a certification system called “Green card” which will certify PV instalations which meet its standards. The green card is still be to be approved by the Department of Labour.

There have been changes to legislation. Generation licences are no longer required for plant which generates up to 1 MW (up from 100 kW). Generating plants which produce more than 1 MW will need to apply for a licence from the Department of Energy.

It was also reported that Eskom intends changing the way municipalities will be charged for electricity in future. Announcements for public participation can be expected from Eskom soon.

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