FAQs

FAQs

You get power connected to your house by filling in the New Connection Form and ensuring all the requirements are complete. The normal connections, the cost will depend on the quotation for the supply line and how much the Licensed Electrical Contractor charges you for the wiring. For OBA connections, the only cost is the $200.00 set up cost.

Solomon Power Cashpower Mobile Top-Up is Solomon Islands first ‘mobile electricity vending system’. This system allows customers to use their Telekom and Bmobile mobile phones to purchase Cashpower units.

At the present it is only available to prepaid (Cashpower) customers, who bank with Bank South Pacific (BSP) and have a mobile phone which can be either Telekom or Bmobile. You have to register with BSP Mobile phone banking to access this service. Please contact 21874 to register or visit your nearest BSP Bank branch.

  • For non-BSP customers you may contact any of your BSP Bank Branches across the Solomons as well as any of BSP’s Branchless Banking Agents in opening a Kundu Standard Account and getting registered on Mobile banking to access our Cashpower Mobile Top-Up services. Solomon Power does not register Cashpower customers for the mobile top-up.
  • On opening a new Kundu Standard Account and receiving your active bank card from BSP, dial *277#, dial in your 16 digit Card Number, create your 4 number Mobile Banking PIN and you should access BSP’s Mobile Banking Services.
  • Dial *277# to access the Cashpower Mobile Top-Up option by following the prompts that will appear on your phone.

You can save as many Cash Power meter numbers as you like.

An SMS message will be received by you once you confirm and have completed your Cashpower top-up. By choosing the SIEA Token option on the “Top-Up Services menu, you can view your SIEA Token. If you are topping up Cashpower for another person from your own BSP account, you can forward the SMS text to this person as you would forward any text message.

Steps to Cashpower Topup

Step 1: Dial *277#
Step 2: Enter your mPIN
Step 3: Enter 3 for “Top-up Service”
Step 4: Enter 2 for “Cash Power”
Step 5: Enter 1 for “New Meter”
Step 6: Enter the Cashpower meter number
Step 7: Enter the Amount
Step 8: Reply with 1 to “Confirm”. You will then receive the token number via text message.
Step 9: Key this number from your mobile phone screen into your Cashpower meter keypad, and your power will come on straight away.

You can purchase a minimum of SBD50.00 (i.e SBD45 worth of Cashpower units & SBD5 fee) to a maximum of SBD1000 (i.e: SBD995 worth of Cashpower units and SBD5 fee) ( have these figures changed ?) (figures still remain unchanged)

Yes, a fee of SBD5 will apply to every successful Cashpower transaction made.

You can buy Cashpower units anytime of the day. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Normal deductions will apply to any Cashpower account with arrears.

At this stage it is only available to BSP customers. We will advise customers in the future if this was to change.

There will be no refund for incorrect meter numbers so please ensure that the correct meter number is entered.

Please contact BSP on 21874 working hours and 7483021 (after hours).

The only problem that customers will experience is when Telekom network/link is down as we’ve experienced on a number of occasions in the past.

To prevent incorrect meter numbers keyed in our mutual customers can save their “unlimited “Meter Numbers” on their mobiles as opposed to keying in the same meter number every time they need to top-up on their Cashpower.

You can view  your account balance to ensure you have enough money in your bank account to make the Cashpower top-up; view  mini-statement, transfer funds from your bank account to a friend who has registered for Cashpower Mobile top-up and who can do the Cashpower top-up for you.

By choosing the SIEA Token option on the “Top-Up Services menu:

  • The main menu is displayed
  • Select My Services
  • Select Manage SIEA
  • Select Add Meter
  • Key in the meter number
  • Key in 6 characters meter tag
  • System will display confirmation screen and select 1 to confirm
  • Meter Number is saved with tag

This is because a $5.00 fee is charged every time you do a transaction.

If you know the arrears do not belong to you, please visit the Cashpower officer at our Head Office in Ranadi with a written letter from you and the Landlord, confirming your date of entry into the property.

You will have to:

  • Fill in and sign a Change of Address Form
  • Assist us with directions to the former occupant of the property
  • Wait patiently as we refund you for payments you have made towards the arrears

The arrears will be cleared off your account and transferred to the former occupant; that is if we know their current location.

If this does not get reported, the arrears will sit in the account.

You can call into your nearest Solomon Power office to make arrears re-payment arrangement.

Yes it is dangerous as you may get electrocuted if the cable touches the house.

First, we need to determine who came first, the pole or the land subdivision? If the pole was first put there, then the pole remains and it will be at the cost of the developer to remove it.

If the pole was placed after the subdivision, then it will be relocated at Solomon Power’s cost. The New Connection process will avoid this happening.

You need to get written consent from the adjoining land owner.

Solomon Power will not have any of its installations on land or property not legally owned by the applicant. This is why we require copies of the FTE [Fixed Term Estate], or TOL (Temporary Occupation License) title over the land. Only updated TOL will be accepted.

For tribally owned land, we require a written consent from 50% of the landowning tribe. This is to avoid any legal implications later.

Electricity Tariffs in the Solomon Islands is the second highest in the Pacific.  There are a number of reasons for this.  Firstly, Solomon Islands currently relies heavily on diesel for power generation instead of renewable power like many other countries.  Secondly, Solomon Power pays taxes on fuel unlike other countries.  E.g. $30 million in fuel taxes per year. Finally Solomon Power receives no subsidies from the Government as many other electricity utilities in the Pacific Nations do which drives the tariff down. .

The tariff can be brought down if we reduce our reliance on only diesel and move towards renewable energy like hydropower and solar.  Therefore, Solomon Power is pleased to have partnered with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank,   JICA, UAE, and the community on these various projects.  However, these developments take time.

The Cost of Service and Tariff Review was conducted during 2015-2016 with funding from the World Bank. The outcome of this study is the Tariff Regulation 2016 which is being applied since 1 January 2017. In comparison to the previous Tariff Regulation 2005 the electricity tariff has dropped on an average by 12%.

Solomon Power’s path to reforms is to deliver to the people of the Solomon Islands more reliable electricity, accessible to more people and at a lower tariff.  Our investment in capital infrastructure in 2014, 2015 and 2016 has been $106m, $133m and $125 m respectively. In 2017 the forecast capital spend is $108m.

These capital infrastructure projects are addressing the reliability and accessibility challenges.  To further reduce the electricity tariff we are implementing solar power and hydro power to replace expensive diesel and have already replaced old inefficient diesel generators at Honiara and at five outstations.  A new solar farm at Henderson and a rehabilitated hydro-power station at Buala were completed in 2016. We also commissioned hybrid stations at Seghe and Taro in August 2017. More solar farms are being planned and these when commissioned will reduce our consumption of diesel and reduce the electricity tariff.

It is not safe to supply another house via an extension cable. The house supplying the power has been inspected, passed and energized based on its approved load. To supply another house will overload the circuit and may cause the house to burn down.

Customers are advised to:

  • Visit the nearest Solomon Power outlet to get a copy of their bill, or
  • Call Solomon Power office on 166, or
  • Email enquries@siea.com.sb to receive a soft copy of the bill

If you have moved locations and have not advised Solomon Power of your change of address, the bill may have been sent to your previous address, which means you have to advise us of your new address through the Change of Address process.

Yes, Solomon Power has plans to expand operations to other rural areas.  On the 17th August 2017, 2017, Solomon Power inaugurated new hybrid outstations at Seghe (Western Province) and Taro (Choiseul Province). A number of hybrid projects at other locations in the outer islands are being developed.

Aerial picture of Taro Island

The Solar Hybrid Farm at Taro, Choiseul Province

The Solar Hybrid Farm at Seghe, Marovo, Western Province

Chairman of Solomon Power Board of Directors Mr David Quan, Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification Honorable Bradley Tovosia and Premier of Choiseul Province Honourable Jackson Kiloe cutting the ribbon at the inauguration of the Solar Hybrid Station on Taro Island.

  • Signed a Subsidiary Loan Agreement with the Government for the Fiu River Hydro Project
  • Provided exclusive development rights to Korea-Water for Tina River Hydro Project

Rural plans for 2017 and 2018 are:

  • Sign a contract or contracts for hybrid generation at Munda, Tulagi, Malu’u, Lata and Kirakira
  • Sign a Power Purchase Agreement for Tina River Hydro Project
  • Develop projects for the installation of more Hybrid Generation systems in other areas in the country.

Set up costs for connection is the same in all locations. The cost will depend on the distance from the existing pole to your house. You can talk to your neighbors for the possibility of sharing the cost of bringing power to your location.

Meter Technicians are qualified electricians. It is company requirement to ensure all technical staff are equipped with the correct tools. Apart from reading meters, our Technicians are also required to inspect meters, and in doing so, will need to carry these tools with them as part of their job.

Meter Technicians will not enter your house if there is no one at home and the door is locked, but they will call again another time to check if you are home so the meter can be inspected.  All revenue meters must be inspected to ensure they are working as normal.

Please see Section 35 of The Electricity Act below:

Call Solomon Power on 166 and report the matter to the Meter Engineer. Solomon Power carries out monthly spot-checks on all meters in all locations, and has a process to deal with illegal bypasses of meters. Bypassing of meters in illegal and a breach of law. Those caught have been charged in court.

Solomon Power has a process for the installation of meters.  One of the continuing challenges is to get licensed electricians to speed up their part of the process for applying for the permit to wire and provide notice of completion of wiring before inspection, passing and installation of meter can be done.

Currently Solomon Power owns the street lights and has been talking to the Government, Honiara City Council (HCC), Provincial Governments and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development (MID) on how to improve street lights in Honiara and the other Islands.  Getting people together has been a challenge but under an agreement with the Government, Solomon Power is contracted to repair and maintain the existing lights.

Under the agreement, Solomon Power will maintain the existing 445 street lights in Honiara and other islands including repairing the faulty ones.  Maintenance includes replacing the light bulbs.  Solomon Power is replacing some lights with modern LED lights that provide better lighting and are cheaper to run and last longer.  Also we are considering solar powered lights at key places.

New street lights are still a challenge due to funds and the decision where they should go.  New street lights are an issue for City Councils, Provinces and Government to discuss with their constituents.  However, Solomon Power is talking to HCC about ways to get funding.  Solomon Power is expecting new lights to be built as part of the MID / JICA project to upgrade the bridge and the highway.

Solomon Power is also talking with Government on other measures to improve safety and security in Honiara.

faq36

What is the OBA program?

The OBA program which is funded under the auspices of the World Bank’s Solomon Islands Access Expansion program, aims to increase access to electricity services to lower income areas of Solomon Islands. The program is currently confined to Honiara and its surrounding communities as well as Taro and Seghe in the Outstations. Solomon Power will advise if this service is going to be extended to other locations.

What does the program cover?

  • Electricity connection up to 10 amps within a 12 month period, which includes:   2 lights & 1 powerpoint

  • House wiring—supplies Registered Electrical Contractor and all required wiring material.
  • One power pole. Any additional pole will be at the cost of the applicant.
  • 80 metres length of service line to the house. Any additional length of service line will be at the cost of the applicant.
  • One Cashpower meter

What are the Requirements?

  • Land documents—Copy of FTE (Fixed Term Estate) title or TOL ( Temporary Occupation License) license over the land/property , or MOU or consent letter from 50% of the landowning tribe.  This is to ensure legal entrance onto the property.
  • $200.00 upfront payment ($600.00 to be inputted into the Cashpower account with 20% deduction imposed upon every payment until fully paid off).

  • Building must be permanent or semi-permanent. Leaf houses must be new and safe to wire.
  • Only domestic and commercial ( ie, small canteen) installations.
  • Connection cannot be shared with another household.
  • Only one application per person.

Customer’s Cost

Only $200.00 upfront payment, with $600.00 inputted into the Cashpower account to be repaid by 20% deduction upon every payment until fully paid off.

Customer’s Cost

  • Help you through with your application and approve it.
  • Visit your property to do site visit and survey, and to ensure the house is safe to wire.
  • Carry out wiring.
  • Construct the pole and service line.
  • Install the Cashpower meter.
  • Connect your house with electricity.
  • Disconnect your house if additional wiring and light is added over the 12 months period. Your power supply will be restored only if you repay the full payment of the connection cost.

Application Process

Application for power supply can be made at the Solomon Power Head Office at Ranadi.

Application processing times will depend on the date when the application was submitted with all the requirements, number of applications, completion of upfront payment, location of the premises and condition of the house.

This is what takes place in the process:

  1. Customer applies to Solomon Power, bringing all the requirements and signs the Contract.
  2. Solomon Power processes the application, approves it and lets customer know of the approval.
  3. Solomon Power inspects the house and carries out wiring, constructs power pole and sets up service line according to OBA requirement.
  4. Solomon Power inspects the wiring for standards.
  5. Solomon Power energizes the installation upon compliance to standard.

What will happen if you Consume Electricity above 10 Amps?

The Cashpower meter is programed to use electricity only up to 10 amps.   Where the connected load is above 10 amps, the meter will trip or switch off 5 times instantly within 20 seconds. This gives you time to remove additional appliances.  If additional appliances are not removed within this time frame, the power will go off and will only come back on again upon issue of a reset code to reset the meter, which can only be done by Solomon Power Meter Technicians, if you call 166.

The World Bank

Visits will be made by an Independent Verification Agent (IVA) within the 12 months period to ensure compliance to the OBA program requirement.

Penalty

Power supply will be disconnected at the pole, and reimbursement of the total connection cost will apply if additional wiring and light is added over the 12 months period. Power supply will be restored only upon full payment of the connection cost. This penalty will also apply if the meter is illegally bypassed or tampered with.

DO NOT TAMPER WITH THE METER

What are the Benefits of the Project?

The Electricity Access Expansion Project provides a cheap and affordable access to electricity for the people of Solomon Islands. The Project offers:

  • Subsidized household wiring which meets Australian and New Zealand wiring standard , one power pole, service line connection and a Cashpower meter.
  • Having electricity in your home may enable you to:
  • Enjoy leisure activities like watching television and DVDs, and listening to music.
  • Provide better learning environment for you and your children with fans, lights and internet access.
  • Improve home security with brighter lighting.
  • Undertake activities under better lighting, late into the evening.
  • Undertake small family oriented retail activity.

Titinge community recipient of the OBA program

The Solomon Power team has been carrying out OBA awareness programs at various communities around Honiara as well as Seghe and Taro.