Utilities Regulatory Authority

The Utilities Regulatory Authority (URA) is issuing this article to provide clarification to the Daily Post Article, issued on Saturday March 16, 2024, written by Mr. Mavuku Tokona titled “Vanuatu rolling out solar tariffs for cheaper energy: Garae.”. That Article published was misleading and created confusion to the public. URA’s consent was not taken prior to publication of this article.

Mr Tokona was requested to come into the URA office to discuss before publishing the article to ensure that he understood the information that was given to him over the phone conversation and to prevent him from providing misleading information to the public. Mr. Tokona did not carry out his due diligence checks on the data and information in his media article draft prior to having it printed.  

After the Article was published on Saturday, the URA contacted Mr. Tokona on Monday (18/03/24) and raised its concern regarding the misleading information contained in his article and URA had requested him to come into the URA office so that the URA can explain to him how misleading his article was. The journalist did not show up for the meeting.

Hence the purpose of this Media Release is to clear up the confusion and misleading information caused by the Saturday article (on DP issue no. 6983).   

From the article that was published, URA wishes to clarify that the solar charge of 45.26 Vt/kWh is only applicable to Vanuatu Utilities and Infrastructure Ltd (VUI) electricity customers with grid tied solar PV systems, meaning those customers that have solar PV systems installed on their rooftops and remain connected to VUI’s electricity network. 

VUI’s solar tariff of 45.26 VT/kWh does not apply to off-grid setups (meaning customers with solar panels on rooftops who are not connected to VUI’s network) or plug and play systems that operate independently from the grid.  

The solar tariff of 45.26 Vt/kWh is a connection charge that covers VUI’s fixed cost for keeping the customer connected should the customer require electricity from the main grid during low kwh output performance by customer’s solar PV system.

The URA had issued a press release on 14th of March 2024 which was published by the Daily Post and contained accurate information about the VUI Ltd’s electricity tariff determination and the revised Uniform Base Tariff which is now 60.75 Vt/kWh including the customer Tariff Structure and the Tariff Adjustment Mechanisms.

The Tariff Structure determines the utility cost of service allocated to different customer categories. Therefore, in the article, the reference made to rate of 68.65 Vt/kWh is applicable to Rate 2 and 3 Customers who are mainly businesses, not Small Domestic Customers (Rate 1) or High Voltage Customers (Rate 6).

Rate 1 customers benefit from a cross subsidy mechanism for a limited level of consumption of up to 120 kWh per month and exceeding this consumption level will result in a penalty rate to ensure that this benefit is directed towards low-income households with low levels of consumption. This cross subsidy is provided by Rate 2 and 3 customers and not Rate 6 customers.

For further details, refer to the customer category tariff structure section of URA’s Commission Order report on VUI’s Electricity Tariff. Copy is available on URA’s website (www.ura.gov.vu ).

URA strongly encourages utility customers and the public (including journalists and radio announcers) to obtain true and correct information regarding any aspect of a regulated service either directly from the utilities or the URA.

URA provides information through its website and official Facebook page (Utilities Regulatory Authority- URA of Vanuatu) and customers can also contact URA’s Office to request a meeting with a URA staff to discuss questions or queries that you may have either relating to VUI electricity tariff or any utility related matters. You can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone (678) 23335. URA office location in Port Vila is opposite the VASANOC building should you prefer an in-person meeting.