The Ministry of Information Culture Affairs and Tourism regular Thursday Press briefing held on October 24, 2019 was addressed by Mr. Augustus V. Goanue,Managing Director, Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission and Cllr. Minnie Paegar-Kallon, Head of Legal, Licensing & Public Affairs. The LERC Managing Director and team provided updates on function of the Commission, the 2015 Electricity Law and the Draft Regulation.
According to the MD the National Energy Policy was approved by Cabinet in 2009 and provides for the liberalization of the Electricity sector and the separation of the roles of policymaking, regulation and operation within the sector. He says all state-owned energy operators including LEC and informal micro-utilities in Liberia have been self-regulating and the result has been poor quality, high electricity cost, etc.
“The NEP promotes private sector involvement by removing LEC’s monopoly which requires an independent regulator to protect consumers, ensure commercial operation of LEC and create a level playing field” Mr. Augustus V. Goanue stated.
Commenting on the Electricity law of 2015, Cllr. Minnie Paegar-Kallon, Head of Legal, Licensing & Public Affairs says Chapter 85 of the Public Authorities Law establishing the LEC was amended in 2015 in order to modernize the electric energy sector by opening up to competition and unbundling the sector among distinct institutions for policy oversight, regulatory functions, and operations in accordance with international best practices.
She averred that the 2015 Electricity Law provides the legal basis for the establishment of the LERC as the National Regulator, an independent agency with respect to its budget, management, staffing and the exercise of its duties and authorities.
Cllr. Kallon told the MICAT briefing Thursday that LERC is overseeing the transformation and development of the Electricity sector to attract investment, improve availability and adequacy as well as quicken the pace of access to electricity in the liberalized sector. LERC regulate networks and oversee the Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electricity, Import and Export of Electricity and Electricity sale.
She says part of LERC duties under the new legal and regulatory regime is to oversee the Transmission System Operation function to ensure that the national electricity interconnected system is operated on an open access basis to permit unimpeded use by wholesale traders both public (LEC) and private (IPP’s) and their customers. The LERC will also issue licenses and permits to operators in the sector, approve tariffs for licensees, develop and monitor technical standards and ensure utility services are provided in a customer friendly manner.
a. The LERC Team named some Regulatory Instruments Already Drafted include:
- Licensing Regulations
- Micro Utility Regulations
- Licensing Handbook
- Administration Procedure Regulations
And said those draft regulatory instruments have been sent out to various stakeholders for review and comments ahead of the validation workshop.
MICAT PUBLIC AFFAIRS/ 10-24-2019