ERB’s Mid-Year Press Briefing Highlights Key Regulatory Progress in Energy Sector

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) of Zambia held its mid-year 2023 media briefing, where Mr. Alfred Mwila, the Acting Director General, highlighted the board’s accomplishments and initiatives in ensuring efficient and sustainable energy regulation in the country.

Mr. Mwila began by emphasizing the ERB’s commitment to establishing robust policies and regulations within the energy sector, with a focus on enhancing transparency, competition, and consumer protection. The board has been actively engaged in licensing and compliance activities to ensure industry standards are met and to guarantee the safe and reliable supply of energy products and services.

Transitioning towards sustainable energy sources is a top priority for the ERB, and the board has actively promoted the adoption of renewable energy technologies. Their efforts aim to build a greener, sustainable, and more resilient renewable energy space in Zambia.

Fostering consumer trust and empowerment remains another key priority for the ERB. To achieve this, the board has focused on enhancing public awareness, education, and engagement programs. These initiatives aim to educate consumers about their rights and obligations and provide avenues for dispute resolution when necessary, promoting a well-informed consumer base that benefits all stakeholders in the energy sector.

During the press briefing, Mr. Mwila provided an update on various regulatory highlights for the first half of 2023:

Energy Pricing: The ERB is responsible for determining, regulating, and reviewing charges and tariffs in the energy sector. During this period, the ERB approved the adjustment of multi-year electricity tariffs for various customer categories, ensuring a more predictable and financially sustainable tariff regime.

Power Purchase Agreements: The ERB reviewed and granted seven power purchase agreements with various entities, including ZESCO and Maamba, Botswana Power Corporation, Zimbabwe Transmission & Distribution Company, Integrated China Energy, Copperbelt Energy Corporation PLC, and others.

Petroleum Pricing Reviews: The ERB conducted monthly petroleum pricing reviews to safeguard the interests of all energy stakeholders. The changes in the procurement and supply of petroleum products have been addressed through these reviews, ensuring cost recovery and security of supply.

Licensing: The ERB issued a total of 166 standard licenses and 43 construction permits in the energy sector during this period.

Enforcements: The ERB instituted enforcement actions against non-compliance by licensees, resulting in penalty fines for 32 licensees.

Consumer Complaints: The ERB received, investigated, and determined 231 consumer complaints, with a resolution rate of 54.1%. The majority of complaints were related to electricity services.

The ERB is dedicated to creating a predictable and efficient regulatory environment and will continue to develop an energy regulatory framework that balances the needs of all stakeholders, improves the quality of supply, and promotes investment in the sector.

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