After five months of successive increases in the prices of private generators, which provide power to compensate for the shortcomings of the public supplier Electricité du Liban (EDL), November prices noted a drop in both Lebanese Lira and dollars, after reaching a peak in October.
The price of the kilowatt hour (kWh) supplied by these generators decreased to 34,863 lira for the month of November, or 5.3 percent less than that of October (36,817 LL). However, the rate did increase by 10 percent in mountainous regions (more than 700 meters above sea level) and/or rural regions to LL 38,319 per kWh.
Converted into dollars ($0.39), this base price reaches levels recorded only twice this year, in January and August, and remains below the peaks of $0.41 per kWh, recorded in September and October.
The November rate was calculated based on the average price of fuel oil, estimated at LL1,658,317 per 20 liters, which represents a drop of 6.7 percent compared to the previous month (at LL1,777,830 per 20 liters). The average exchange rate used for the calculation recorded a slight increase: 89,700 LL for a dollar in November, compared to 89,525 LL for a greenback in October.
To calculate their monthly bills, each subscriber must multiply the ministry's kWh rate by their consumption recorded on an individual meter that the generator owner should have installed. Added to this is a fixed price varying according to the maximum intensity delivered in amperes (A). For a maximum intensity of 5 A, the monthly package is set at 385,000 LL (which is the same as last month); that of an intensity of 10 A at 685,000 pounds (also the same). The ministry is also imposing an increase estimated this month at 300,000 lira for every 5 additional amps after reaching 10 A. Note that these prices also include a margin of 10 percent for the benefit of operators.
The ministry has also maintained the specifications introduced for elevators and for the common areas of buildings connected in three phases, specifying that their fixed prices will be calculated on the basis of a single-phase installation. For example: if the elevator and the common areas have a three-phase 3 x 15 A circuit breaker, their package will be calculated on the basis of a capacity of 15 A, and not 45 A, i.e. 985,000 LL in November, rather than 2,780,000 pounds.
Owners of generators – an illegal but tolerated sector due to EDL's chronic deficiencies – are required, in principle, to comply with the decision of the Ministry of Economy and Trade, which requires them to install individual meters on their subscribers' premises since a 2018 decision. A significant portion of them have refused to comply and continue to apply flat rates, sometimes charged in dollars.
In this context, the ministry specifies that generator owners do not have the right to display their prices in dollars, to add additional costs to customers who have installed solar panels or to add VAT to the invoice.