BEIRUT — The Ministry of Energy and Water has set the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy produced by private generators in Beirut and lower altitude areas in November at LL17,585, an increase of 1.17 percent compared to the previous month's rate (LL17,381). This tariff increased by 10 percent in areas more than 700 meters above sea level and/or rural areas to LL19,343 per kWh.
The November tariff was calculated based on the average price of fuel oil valued at LL871,321 per 20 liters, against the backdrop of a global increase in fuel prices in the wake of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict that broke out last February, and the depreciation of the Lebanese lira against the US dollar. This level represents an increase of 1.23 percent compared to the previous month (LL860,700 per 20 liters of fuel oil).
As it does every month, the ministry also accounted for the additional costs incurred by generator operators (changing oil, filters and other parts), as well as the depreciation cost of the generator itself, using an exchange rate of LL39,285 to the dollar, compared to LL38,990 in October. These rates also include a 10 percent markup for the operators.
To calculate the total bill, the price per kWh must be multiplied by the consumption. In addition to the total bill, a flat rate is added that varies according to the maximum current delivered in amperes (A). For a maximum current of 5A, the monthly flat rate has been set since October at LL125,000; for a maximum current of 10 A, it is LL245,000. The department is also imposing a LL120,000 surcharge for each additional 5A from 10A, the same level as the previous month.
The ministry has also maintained the specificities introduced for elevators and for common parts of buildings connected in three-phase, indicating that their fixed tariffs will be calculated on the basis of a single-phase installation. For example, if the elevator and common areas have three times a 15A three-phase circuit breaker, their flat rate will be calculated on the basis of a 15A capacity, not 45A, i.e., LL370,000 in November, not LL1,105,000.
In this context, the Ministry of Energy and Water has once again called on generator owners to comply with the decision of the Ministry of Economy and Trade regarding the obligation to install meters.
While this obligation, which was implemented in 2018, is imposed on all members of this sector, and the exclusion of which is illegal, due to the chronic and increasingly accentuated deficiencies of the official supplier Electricité du Liban, a significant portion of generator owners have refused to comply and continue to apply flat rates, often aligned with those of the ministry and sometimes requiring payment in dollars.