The state-owned Lebanese electricity provider Electricité du Liban announced in a statement Saturday that it will use the rate of LL43,600 to the US dollar to calculate its bills for the months of November and December 2022.
This announcement follows a recent significant increase to Banque du Liban's Sayrafa exchange rate, at which EDL bills are due to be calculated following a tariff revision last year. The Sayrafa rate almost doubled last week to LL70,000 to the dollar after an intervention by BDL aimed at stabilizing the parallel exchange rate, which had plummeted to a record low of LL90,000 to the greenback.
In a statement issued on Saturday, EDL said that the November and December 2022 bills will be calculated at the rate of LL43,600 to the dollar — the rate "in force at the date of issuance" — plus 20 percent, based on the mechanism put in place on Dec. 8, 2022. This means the bills will charge for electricity at a rate of LL52,320 to the dollar, instead of the rate of LL70,000 to the dollar in effect on the Sayrafa platform since March 1.
EDL did not specify the rate that would be adopted for the calculation of subsequent months' bills.
The power provider also took the opportunity to remind the public that its tariffs remain lower than those of the owners of private generators, from which the population obtains electricity to compensate for hourslong daily EDL power shortages.
EDL also stressed that the success of the national emergency plan for the electricity sector, that includes improvement in the collection of bills calculated according to the new mechanism and the elimination of encroachments on the electricity network, would allow for an increase in hours of electricity supply.
On March 2, EDL announced that the first stage of the operation to eliminate encroachments on its network of electrical cables will begin on Monday, in coordination with the security services. In this context, 216 cable outlets out of a total of 800 boxes installed throughout the country are due to be examined.
This procedure is part of the reforms requested by international donors, particularly the World Bank, to support the electricity sector in a country in full economic collapse.
The removal of encroachments will also be a factor in EDL's decision on whether to increase power generation under a plan announced on Jan. 27. The plan was put in place after a credit was opened to provide fuel for the plants.