A regulatory agency, Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), was established in 2000, to oversee and guide the activities and operations of a liberalized power sector. The main functions of ERA are to provide licensing of the activities in the electricity industry, setting tariff structure, developing and enforcing the industry’s performance standards, and consumer protection.
It also pursues the objective of ensuring that the utility operators in the power sector deliver their services in the most efficient manner and in accordance with best business practices in order to protect consumers’ interest of getting affordable and good quality service.
ERA regulates the power sector activities by issuing power related licenses, establishment of the tariff structure, developing and enforcing performance standards within the subsector among many other roles and responsibilities.
ERA’s mandate as outlined in the Electricity Act is to issue licenses for the generation, transmission, distribution or sale of electricity and the ownership or operation of transmission systems and this further detailed below;
- To receive and process applications for licenses;
- To prescribe conditions and terms of licenses issued under this Act;
- To modify licenses issued under this Act;
- To make and enforce directions to ensure compliance with licenses issued under this Act;
- To establish a tariff structure and to investigate tariff charges, whether or not a specific compliant has been made for a tariff adjustment;
- To approve rates of charges and terms and conditions of electricity services provided by transmission and distribution companies;
- To review the organization of generation, transmission and distribution companies or other legal entities engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to the extent that that organization affects or is likely to affect the operation of the electricity sector and the efficient supply of electricity;
- To develop and enforce performance standards for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity;
- To encourage the development of uniform electricity industry standards and codes of conduct;
- To establish a uniform system of accounts for licensees;
- To advise the Minister regarding the need for electricity sector projects;
- To prepare industry reports and to gather information from generation, transmission and distribution companies;
- To prescribe and collect licence fees;
- To provide for the procedure for investment programmes by transmission and distribution companies;
- To approve standards for the quality of electricity supply services provided;
- To approve codes of conduct in respect of the operation of transmission and distribution systems;
- To acquire information and carry out investigations relating to any of its functions; and
- To perform any other function that is incidental or consequential to its functions under this section, or as may be conferred on it by any other law.