By CHILA NAMAIKO -
THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) will this year work tirelessly to monitor the performance of licensing entities in order to enhance compliance on provision of quality energy products and services.
ERB executive director Langiwe Lungu said the Board also commenced and made progress in the procurement of a consultant to conduct the electricity cost of study with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Appearing before a Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism at Parliament Buildings on Tuesday, Ms Lungu said despite the challenges experienced in the energy sector in 2016, ERB had continued to improve regulatory oversight through enhanced compliance and consequent enforcement actions.
She was submitting to the Committee chaired by United Party for National Development (UPND) Mbabala Member of Parliament Ephraim Bbelemu on the ERB’s 2016 Annual Report Overview.
Ms Lungu said the Board was focused in ensuring more efficiency in the provision of reliable energy products and services in the country.
The Board, in 2017, undertook a Cost of Service Study (CoSS) whose main purpose would be to establish the cost of generating, transmitting, distributing and supplying power to various customer categories and at various supply points in the industry.
Ms Lungu said during the period under review, ERB had commenced and made progress in the procurement of a consultant to conduct the electricity CoSS with funding from the AfDB.
The committee heard that in the electricity subsector, an application for reversal of the tariff increase awarded in December 2015 was received from Zesco.
The application was considered and approved.
Ms Lungu said despite the reversal, the Government expressed its commitment to the attainment of cost-reflective tariffs by 2019.
This, she said, was in line with the July 2015 resolution of the 34th meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Energy ministers.
In response to a follow-up question from Patriotic Front (PF) Chama South MP Davison Mung’andu, who sought clarity on the engagement of middlemen in the procurement process of petroleum products, Ms Lungu said the Board did not participate in the procurement process.
She said ERB, however, closely worked with the oil marketing companies to ensure all necessary steps were adhered to in the supply chain of petroleum products in the country.