The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has announced new power connection charges that will see consumers fork out up to Shs 2 million to be connected.
Under the old policy, consumers paid Shs 20,000 as connection fee with other costs met by government. The policy which started in 2018 was dubbed “free connection.”
But government says it has no money and ERA has said applicants will now have to part with between Shs 730,000 and Shs 2 million for non pole and single pole connections respectively.
This will be in addition to labour and transport fees ranging from Shs 50 000 and Shs 210, 000, metre test fees of Shs 8000 and another Shs 41300 meter inspection fees.
The move to suspend the free connection policy is aimed at allowing those who can afford to pay for their connection to move fast as others wait for the free connection from government.
ERA has directed all licensed electricity distribution companies to connect customers who have the financial capacity and willingness to pay for their connections.
Consumers who had earlier applied for connection under the old policy will now have to top up. Others will have to wait until government mobilises funds to rescue them.
The new connection costs have sparked outrage from members of the public who accused government of wasting their time with empty promises.
“I applied in November last year but I am yet to be connected. Now you want us to pay. Thugs just” said Emma Bwayo, a resident of Namisindwa.
It is not clear when or whether the free connection policy will be resurrected.