The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, has tabled the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022 for first reading.
In a plenary sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker Anitah Among, the Minister presented the Bill accompanied by the Certificate of Financial Implication as required by the Public Finance Management Act 2015.
The Bill seeks to amend the Electricity Act, Cap. 145 to, among other things, increase funds allocated to the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) from 0.3 percent to 0.7 percent of the revenue received from the generation of electrical energy. This is intended to ensure that the Authority has adequate funds to regulate the electricity industry.
If passed, the law will proved additional functions of ERA and to empower the Authority to impose fines on licensees for breach of the terms of the license before taking a drastic decision of suspending or canceling a license and providing for deterrent penalties for theft of electricity and vandalism of electrical facilities.
The Bill also seeks to empower the line Minister to prescribe the procedure for the transfer of generation assets to the government and prescribe the circumstances under which a holder of a generation license or transmission license may supply electricity to persons other than a bulk supplier.
Additionally, the Bill is intended to remove inconsistencies in the law, introduce flexibility in its implementation, and streamline operations of the electricity sector by, among other things, removing the monopoly of the bulk supplier of electricity.
The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among, referred the Bill to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources for scrutiny.
The Committee has 45 days to consider the Bill, receive contributions from the stakeholders and consult widely before reporting back to Parliament by presenting a report.