PM Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa. Photo/Tonga Parliament

Consumers will continue to pay the old rate for electricity for the next two months, the government has announced.

The government will bear the costs of the increase in electricity prices  for the next two months.

The old tariff is TP$0.7990 per kWh. The recently announced new price is TP$0.8316 per kWh, a difference of $0.0326 per kWh.

The new price was announced on November 1.

Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa  said the government would incur costs of about TP$360,000 in holding down the tariff for November and December.

The Prime Minister said Tonga Power Ltd has been ordered to bring in accountants Price Waterhouse Cooper to carry out an independent audit of the company’s pricing structure and the reason for the price increase.

The audit was expected to clarify the effect of the Renewal Energy Campaign, which was intended to bring down the price of electricity, not increase it, Hon. Tu’i’onetoa said.

He said the campaign had been intended to reduce the cost of electricity by 20-30% once half of the kingdom’s electricity was produced from renewable energy sources.

If no clear picture emerged, the government would have to redesign the strategy, because the 50% renewable target by 2020 had nearly  been reached.

Renewable energy

The change in energy production has been marked in the past six years.

In 2013 the New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research reported that more than half of Tonga’s national energy needs were  met  by  imported  petrol and diesel. The outer islands sometimes run out. 

At that stage solar panels produced  less  than  4%  of  the  total  energy  used.  in  2013,  although  rapid  expansion  has changed that figure.

The Asian Development Bank is administering $44 million in aid money to fund renewable projects, including the construction of the Pacific’s largest solar energy farm.

Samoa plans to be 100% renewable by 2025 and Fiji 90% by 2030.

The main points

  • Consumers will continue to pay the old rate for electricity for the next two months, the government has announced.
  • The government will bear the costs of the increase in electricity prices  for the next two months.

Fakamatala fakaTonga ki he ongoongo’ ni:

Kuo fakahā ‘e he Pule’anga’ te ne fu’a  ‘a e fakamole ki he hiki fakafokifā ‘i he totongi ‘o e ‘uhila’ ki he māhina ‘e ua ka hoko’ Nōvema-Tīsema 2019, ‘a ia ‘oku fakafuofua ki he $360,000 fakakātoa.  Kuo tu’utu’uni ai ke ‘omai ‘a e  Kautaha Price Waterhouse Cooper  mei Nu’u Sila ke nau ‘ātita’i  ‘a e makatu’unga ‘a hono hiki ko eni ‘o e totongi ‘uhila’.  Lolotonga hono totongi ‘e he pule’anga’ ‘a e hiki’ ni ‘e  kei totongi ‘uhila pe ‘a e kakai’ ‘o fakatatau ki he founga motu’a ne fika’i ‘aki ‘enau totongi ‘uhila’. ‘E ‘ikai foki ke kau a e kau totongi ‘uhila’ ‘i hono totongi e  fakamole ‘a e Kautaha ‘Atita Price Waterhouse Cooper.  Ko e ola eni ‘o e fakataha ‘a e ‘Eiki Palēmia’ ka ko e Minisita ki he Ngaahi Pisinisi ‘a e Pule’anga mo e Minisita Pa’anga pehe ki he ‘Ofisa Pule Ngaue (CEO) ‘o e Potungaue ki he Ngaahi Pisinisi ‘a e Pule’anga ‘i Novema 4 mo e Pule le’ole’o mo e timi ki he Tafa’aki fakalele ngaue ‘a e Kautaha Tonga Power Ltd ke fakapapau’i ‘a e hiki ko eni ‘a ia na’e fakaha ‘i Novema 1 2019. 

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