LEC urges wise use of power

 IRENE SEME

MASERU – The Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) has advised its users to use electricity wisely due to low energy supply from the ’Muela Hydropower Plant where the country generates its own electricity. LEC has informed the nation that this winter electricity usage was higher therefore causing setbacks on the company’s connections.

The company says it believes the cause of the high use of electricity by customers is due to the fact that prices of alternative fuels such as paraffin and gas increased on the international market forcing users to resort to use more of electricity.   In a statement released in Maseru yesterday, the company said energy supply has gone down by 33.3 percent forcing the company to source more electricity from outside the country at higher cost than usual.

As a result, the LEC pleads with its customers to carefully use electricity so as to avoid frequent power cuts due to high pressure on supply. The company says using electricity with caution will be advantageous to customers to avoid unnecessary extra charges. The company added that it will share some energy saving tips on radio stations, pamphlets, newspapers and on the internet. LEC also pleads with its customers to be patient until the situation is back to normal.

Currently the ’Muela plant supplies the country with 72 megawatts while the country needs 145 megawatts. Lesotho imports more electricity from Eskom, in South Africa, which supplies 38 megawats and Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) in Mozambique with 35 megawatts within the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP). ’Muela is a hydro power project located in Botha-Bothe which produces 72 megawatts. The project, commissioned in 1998, is a single phase project owned and developed by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority.

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