Electricity Subsidy is Good News: Council

The Consumer Council of Fiji is elated with government’s decision to subsidise the first 100kwh of electricity used by households whose combined income is less than $30,000.

Abudget of $5million has been allocated to cover for the subsidy.

For long the Council lobbied for the fair implementation of the government subsidy on the monthly use of electricity.

The subsidy was given for 75kwh in 2010, later it increased to 85kwh, and in 2016 it was further increased to 95kwh.

However, there was confusion in theapplication of the subsidy.

Consumers who received bills with their ‘kwh usage’ reading of less than 95kwh had often been surprised when electricity subsidy were not awarded to them on those bills.

The catch was how FEA calculated monthly usage which was based on average daily use. For FEA, 95kwh a month is equal to 3.13kwh, based on an average month of 30.42 days.

Hence, subsidy would only apply if average daily use is 3.13kwh or less.

For instance a household that uses 94kWh of electricity in a billing cycle covering 28 days, have an average daily use of 3.24kwh, which is above the 3.13kwh, making them not eligible for the subsidy.

Hence, the Council in its submission had asked for government subsidy for the first 95kwh and
any usage above that to attract normal tariffs.

The previous rule restricted lower income households, with usually large family, to qualify for
the subsidy.