FinMin okays electricity commission regulationThe government has moved a step closer to setting up a powerful commission to regulate the country’s energy sector with the Finance Ministry approving the Electricity Regulatory Commission Regulation drafted by the Energy Ministry.
The government has moved a step closer to setting up a powerful commission to regulate the country’s energy sector with the Finance Ministry approving the Electricity Regulatory Commission Regulation drafted by the Energy Ministry.
“The Finance Ministry on Monday approved the draft of the regulation prepared by us,” said Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, spokesperson for the Energy Ministry. “We will send it to the Law Ministry for its examination and approval before presenting it to the Cabinet for its final approval.”
The Energy Ministry plans to submit the draft regulation to the Cabinet within eight to 10 days, according to Ghimire.
After the regulation is endorsed by the Cabinet, the Nepal Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) can be formed to set standards to regulate organisations involved in power generation, transmission, distribution and trade.
The Energy Ministry will then initiate the process of establishing the NERC’s secretariat and hiring staff including the chairman and members.
The commission will have a full mandate to determine the power purchase rate for the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the state-owned power utility.
The NERC will supersede the existing Electricity Tariff Fixation Commission and set the charges that customers will have to pay to the power utility. The commission will fix the electricity tariff after holding a public hearing.
The commission, according to the regulation, will also establish a code that various entities under its jurisdiction will have to follow.
The code will specify standards for the construction of hydropower plants, transmission lines and distribution networks. It will also determine the voltage that will be supplied to customers by the utility.
Although the plan to form the NERC was floated a decade ago, Parliament only endorsed the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act in August 2017 paving the way for its establishment.