BEIRUT — Tariffs for private generators, which supply power when public supplier Électricité du Liban rations its output, have risen for the fourth consecutive month in September, reaching their highest level of the year in dollar terms, according to the Ministry of Energy and Water.
The ministry set a base price of LL 36,605 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) charged to these operators, which are illegal but have been part of the Lebanese landscape since the 1975-1990 Civil War.
The price rose by LL 1,918 compared to August (+5.5%). It is based on an average price for 20 liters of fuel oil, which is LL 1,758,683 (+6.1% in one month) and an average exchange rate of LL 89,565 to the dollar (LL 89,110 for August invoices).
Converted into dollars ($0.41), this price is the highest of the year, exceeding the price in January and August ($0.39).
Little change in fixed costs
This tariff applies to bills in September, which generator owners will start collecting at the beginning of October. It will be increased by 10% (to LL 40,265, i.e. LL 3,660 more than the basic rates) in mountainous and rural areas. Converted at the ministry's rate, this makes a kWh priced approximately $0.45.
To calculate their bill, each subscriber must multiply the price per kWh consumption as recorded on an individual meter that the generator owner installed.
In addition to this are the usual flat rates, which vary according to the maximum current delivered in amperes (amps). For a maximum current of 5 amps, the monthly charge is set at LL 385,000 (+5,000 compared to August), and for a maximum current of 10 amps at LL 685,000 (also +5,000 compared to August).
The ministry also imposes a surcharge of LL 300,000 (unchanged) for each additional 5 amps above 10 amps.
Finally, the fixed charges for 5 amps and 10 amps subscriptions are identical for all subscribers, and the ministry reminds us, as it does every month, that fixed tariffs for elevators and common parts of buildings connected in three-phases must be calculated as single-phase installations. A 15 amps three-phase installation should therefore not be billed as if it were a 45 amps installation.
The Ministry of Finance legally precludes generator owners from setting their prices in dollars. This stops the latter from adding extra charges to customers who have installed solar panels, or from adding VAT to invoices if they are not registered.