Government’s new utility tariff structure with its intention to fully recover the costs incurred by Enemalta and Water Services Corporation means that consumers will be paying twice for the electricity consumed by reverse osmosis plants to produce water.
The KPMG report presented to the social partners states that the total cost to the WSC for the production of water is €50.8 million of which €10.7 million is the amount paid by the Corporation to Enemalta for its energy requirements.
This means that 21 per cent of the total cost of water Government wants to recoup from consumers is expenditure on electricity. This expenditure is already reflected in the total cost of electricity production for Enemalta, which Government also wants to fully recoup from consumers.
If the utility tariffs are introduced as announced consumers would be shouldering the total cost to produce electricity, as reflected in Enemalta’s bills, and pay again for the portion of electricity which is consumed by reverse osmosis plants, as reflected in WSC’s bills.
The WSC pumps 20 million cubic metres of water into its network of which 57 per cent comes from reverse osmosis plants and the rest from underground sources.
Water produced by the energy hungry reverse osmosis plants costs €1.38 per cubic metre to produce while water extracted from the ground costs a meagre €0.34 per cubic metre.
The electricity bill for the WSC is €10.7 million of which the overwhelming majority, €9.2 million is consumed by the reverse osmosis plants.