TECHNOLOGY: Government Suspends new electricity connections under Rural Electrification Policy due to COVID-19

TECHNOLOGY: Government Suspends new electricity connections under Rural Electrification Policy due to COVID-19

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The Government of Uganda has indefinitely suspended the Electricity Connection Program through which Ugandans are connected on the electricity grid through a subsidiary approach.

The suspension according to a statement released by UMEME, Uganda’s main electricity distribution company, is due to a realignment of priorities and financial resources by government, in part brought by the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement released by UMEME spokesperson, Mr Peter Kaujju, the connections are suspended until further notice.

The government of Uganda launched the Electricity Connection Policy (ECP) in 2018 for a 10 year period ending in 2027, with a prime objective of increasing electricity access and providing cleaner energy to Ugandans.

The policy had been introduced by government to address the challenge of low connection rates that previous policies have not addressed despite having invested considerable amounts of funds in grid extension. It was aimed at achieving an average of at least 300,000 connections per annum under a subsidiary approach.

The program is funded and managed by the government through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and covers the cost of the last mile connection with customers only required to pay UGX.20,000 for the purpose of inspection of the customer premises for appropriate wiring and appropriate readiness for connection to the electricity grid.

According to Peter Kaujju, Umeme had completed 245,310 connections to date through this subsidiary approach.

Kaujju says the Ministry of Energy and REA are fully aware of the current constraints and a solution will be found to sustain this programme.

He also says Umeme will inform all its customers and the public of any new development as and when they are in position to do so.

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