Umeme’s Managing Director Selestino Babungi says the increase was largely driven by industrial consumers. According to Babungi, the industrial sector that consumes almost 70 per cent of electricity recorded an average growth of 12 per cent during the year, supported by the underlying positive economic fundamentals in Uganda and the East African region.
Electricity consumption in Uganda
increased by 9.1 per cent in 2018, according
to Umeme, the country’s major power service provider. Umeme sold 3,011 Gigawatt
hours of electricity from the 2017 out-turn of 2,760 Gigawatt hours.
Umeme’s Managing Director
Selestino Babungi says the increase was largely driven by industrial
consumers. According to Babungi, the
industrial sector that consumes almost 70 per cent
of electricity recorded an average growth of 12 per
cent during the year, supported by the underlying positive economic
fundamentals in Uganda and the East African region.
said that electricity consumption went up as industrial production increased
due to the high demand for products and the
opening of more industries in the country. Umeme is hopeful that the demand will
increase by a higher margin in 2019.
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Umeme’s revenue also increased to
1.6 trillion Shillings in 2018 from 1.49 trillion Shillings, recorded in 2017.
The company says growth in electricity sales was driven by increased demand and
tariff applicable during the year.
The company paid 1.1 trillion Shillings
to Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) for the electricity
they bought and 135 billion Shillings to Uganda Revenue Authority in both
direct and indirect taxes. The company also invested 231 billion Shillings in
the distribution network.
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Babungi says the customer
connection to the grid, increased by 14.8 per cent
to 1.3 million customers compared to 2017. He says over the 7-year period to
2018, Umeme exceeded the regulatory customer base target by 0.3 million
customers (30 per cent). Umeme was
expected to have a customer base of one million at the end of 2018.
Umeme also reduced energy losses
to 16.6 per cent compared to 17.2 per cent for 2017. The loss reduction is
attributed to increased use of prepaid metering and increased operational
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Uganda’s installed generation
capacity increased to 1,167 megawatts after commissioning of Isimba Dam last
week. It will further increase by 600 megawatts in December this year when
Karuma Dam is commissioned. Umeme is
confident that this electricity will be consumed by increasing industries and
households that are being connected by the government
through the free connection policy.
“In November 2018, the government
launched the Electricity Connections Policy, aimed at accelerating grid
connections, through subsidization of the last mile capital costs. The government
of Uganda target aims to add at least 300,000 consumers to the grid per annum,”
He further noted that Umeme has prioritized
the implementation of this programme to increase access and unlock suppressed
electricity demand. Umeme’s investment programme is focused on building and
strengthening the distribution backbone to cope with the increased grid