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Free-connection policy to bring 300,000 new users onto grid annually

By Billy Rwothungeyo

Added 7th February 2018 02:21 PM

Currently, new users have to part with as much as sh500,000 to get connected to the grid

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Currently, new users have to part with as much as sh500,000 to get connected to the grid

PIC: Godfrey Turyahikayo, the executive director of the Rural Electrification Agency. (Credit: Godiver Asege)

ENERGY

KAMPALA- The new government policy of free-connection to the grid will add 300,000 consumers every year to the grid, Godfrey Turyahikayo, the executive director of the Rural Electrification Agency has revealed.

Last week, Cabinet approved a free-connection policy to increase the numbers of Ugandans on the national grid.

“Where the grid extends in the country, and you are within one pole to your premises, you are a beneficiary and the policy will cover you,” Turyahikayo said.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of the East Africa Energy and Infrastructure Summit in Kampala on Tuesday.

Currently, new users have to part with as much as sh500,000 to get connected to the grid. Turyahikayo says all one will have to do is wire their house to be connected.

 “We hope that by taking off this burden (of paying to get on the grid) from the consumers, we shall be able to get more consumers,” he said.

The operational manual for the policy is being finalised, and this will be ready this month. Consumers will then start benefiting from the new policy next month, the executive director said.

With an average of 75 kWh per year, Uganda has one of the lowest electricity consumption per citizen in Africa. Only about 15% of Ugandans are connected to the grid, leaving the rest languishing in darkness.

The three-day East Africa Energy and Infrastructure summit that was organised by EnergyNet, unites regional governments from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia, leading utility and regulatory companies from across the region as well as international financiers, donor organisations and power developers.

The aim of the summit is discuss the most significant energy and infrastructure projects being developed across the region and to explore practical solutions geared towards increasing investor appetite in East Africa.

We have seen that the energy landscape in East Africa is evolving and diversifying. From the development of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline and Refinery Project, to the large renewable energy projects such as the Bujagali Hydropower Project and Lake Turkana Wind Power Project – there has never been a more exciting time for the East African region. We are delighted to have got the timing of this meeting right,” EnergyNet’s Anna Gorzkowska said.

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