The Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) is seeking a preferential electricity tariff lower than the massive 75% imposed by ZESCO.
But the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) blamed consumer apathy during the submissions process, saying they had missed the opportunity to make their case.
The new ZESCO tariff came into effect on May 15, with 50% immediately kicking in. A further 25% will come into effect in September.
MAZ president Andrew Chintala says a preferential power tariff would enable millers produce cheaper mealie-meal.
He said the bumper harvest benefit of reducing the price of mealie-meal had been undone by the huge power tariff hike.
“Millers would find it difficult to operate under the new hiked tariffs. It would mean that consumers would be subjected to higher mealie-meal prices,” Chintala said.
ERB director of consumer affairs Agness Phiri said consumers should have actively participated and shared their views before the regulator took the decision to approve the proposal by ZESCO to proceed with the new power hikes.
“Unfortunately, when we invited consumers to make submissions, there was apathy and only a few made submissions,” she said.
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