Ecowas strikes power regulation deal By TAMBA JEAN-MATTHEW | Friday, August 2  2013 at  16:50

West Africa energy experts on Friday endorsed the draft regulation relating to the payment of regulatory fees on the region's electricity network.

The experts propose that the operators in the electricity sector in each member state should contribute 30 per cent of the Regional Electricity Regulation Authority (Rera’s) budget during the transition period.

Pending the adoption of an acceptable mechanism, the experts at the Dakar meeting last week agreed that the validated regulation for regulatory fees for Rera would deal with the transition period only.

An Ecowas statement on Friday said that the legal document would facilitate a funding mechanism for the Rera and enable it operate as an autonomous and independent regulatory body.

The experts agreed on the draft legal text at the end of their three-day meeting on July 26 in Dakar, Senegal in response to a request by regional energy ministers.

The ministers had urged for a consensus over the method of calculation and payment of regulatory fees as well as its related regulation.

The statement explained that the legal texts setting up Rera which began operations in 2009, provide for ordinary and extra-ordinary sources of funding for the body, including contributions from regional market stakeholders.

According to Rera’s financing plan, stakeholders’ contributions were to begin in 2012 on the assumption of an increased regional electricity trade.

But the source explained that the lack of mechanism for determining the regulatory levy had stalled the process.

Among the experts who endorsed the fees are those from electricity companies and regulatory bodies from across the region as well as representatives of regional institutions and agencies like the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) and the Organisation pour la Mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal (OMVS).