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Electricity Sector

This page contains the reports issued by the Authority in the electricity sector, excluding the performance and audit reports:


Consumer Complaints and Dispute Resolution Rules and Procedures

The CCDR Rules Case U-0009-14 sets out a clear process for the Authority to dealt with consumer complaints it receive in accordance with section 19 of the URA Act. The CCDR (as amended) is in force as of 20 February 2017.


VUI Electricity Tariff Adjustment decrease by 10.44%

The Utilities Regulatory Authority (URA) Commission has issued an order to the Vanuatu Utilities and Infrastructure Limited (VUI), to reduce it's currently applied tariff of 40.52 Vatu/kWh to 36.29 Vaty/kWh. This is an average price reduction of 10.44%.


Utility Billing and payment Rules

The Utilities Regulatory Authority (URA) has sets out the Final Decision and Commission Order issuing the Utility Billing and Payment Rules for Water and Electricity Services URA Case S-0016-14. This Commission Order is the formal order to utilities to carry out the necessary actions to implement the provisions described herein.



Standards for Solar PV Installations

The Utilities Regulatory Authority (URA) Commission has issued the Standards for safe installation and operation of zero export Solar Photovoltaic (Solar-PV) systems (Installation) Case S-0003-15 by electric customers in Vanuatu. Although, not required, persons not customers of a utility planning to undertake an installation are urged to apply these Standards for their own safety.


Power Purchase Agreement
The Utilities Regulatory Authority (URA) Commission is pleased to issue regulatory guidelines applicable to independent power producers (IPP) entering into power purchase agreements (PPA) for the generation and supplu of electricity (Case - u-0003-14). These guidelines describes the regulatory framework as it pertians to third-party independent power producers generating abd selling electricity to utilities.


VUI Electricity Tariff Adjustment

URA received an application on 28th November 2013 for a tariff reduction for electricity services in Luganville from the operator, VUI. The application requested a tariff reduction of the base price of 3.46 vatu from the current level of 54.76, resulting in a new base price of 51.30 vatu. VUI indicates that the rate reduction is a result of cost saving due to an improvement in the performance of the Sarakata hydropower plant.

The URA commission is pleased to issue Final Decision and Order for VUI tariff adjustment for electricity services in Luganvilla Case - U-001-15. This represents 14% price reduction from December 2014, resulting in a new base price of 40.25 VT/kWh.

PDF Preliminary Decision January 2014

PDF Final Decision March 2014

PDF Final Decision and Commission Order June 2015


Electricity Safety Standards and Rules

The Utilities Regulatory Authority (URA) Commission is pleased to issue this Final Decision and Order setting out the standards and rules to regulate works and safety of persons in the vicinity of electricity grids (case S-0001-14). The electricity safety rules promote safety of the person in the vicinity of an electricity network and rules highlight procedures that the public are to undertake when working or living near an electricity network. The rules also define safety parameters that the public must respect to avoid being harmed by electric shocks and other possible electricity-related dangers.


Feed in Tariff and Net Metering

The Feed-in Program implements a limited solar feed-in program in UNELCO service area in Port Vila. The program allows domestic and small commercial customers to reduce their electricity bills by generating their own solar energy. Customers can still use grid power at the normal retail tariffs to supplement their electricity use when solar power is unavailable. Any excess solar power generated can be provided to the network and will further offset electricity bills. The program contains limits on the size of individual installations, and also the total installed capacity. A customer may install solar panels equivalent to the subscribed kVA of their current connection, up to 20kWp. The total program is limited to 500kWp, with approximately 50-70 domestic customers, 10 commercial customers, and 3 High voltage customers. Application forms will be available on the website and UNELCO’s office from 15th September 2014, and can be submitted from 1st October 2014.


Business Development Incentive Tariff for new businesses

The Utilities Regulatory Authority (URA) has proposed a new reduced electricity tariff for new large business customers in Port Vila. Under this proposal, new customers or current customers who want to expand will be eligible for a discount of up to 35% intheir electricity bills for new consumption. The Final Decision and Order implement has been published, this program offers to lower electricity tariff for business customers wishing to expand their existing business and for new business location in Port Vila.

Independent Power Producers and Power Purchase Agreement

The URA Commission has  issued a Preliminary Guidelines on the independent power producers (IPPs) and power purchase agreement (PPAs). These Preliminary Guidelines are being provided to all interested person in the matter of developing regulatory guidelines.

PDF Preliminary Guidelines - June 2014

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Port Vila Street Lighting

In the matter of UNELCO requesting Commission approval to transfer operations and maintenance of Street Lighting service in Port Vila from the Municipality to Unelco, the Commission finds that the proposal submitted by Unelco is appropriate and in the public interest. Commission believes that the proper maintenance and provision of street lighting is an essential part of civic amenities to which Port Vila citizens are entitled. Well-lit and functioning SL service promotes public safety, security and commerce in the area. Further Commission finds that Unelco may request to include the cost for SL operations, maintenance and energy supply as part of their operating expenses in the next rate review as discussed in the Order. During the interim period until the next rate review, the SL related costs incurred by Unelco may be accrued and recorded in a regulatory asset account recoverable in the rate case.

PDF Commission Order

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ELECTRICITY TARIFF REVIEW

The Government’s concern about the high cost of electricity has led to the Authority undertaking a full review of the level and structure of tariffs for all concession areas. Under Section 2 paragraph 27 of the Luganville concession agreement and under Section 7.5 of the Port Vila concession agreement, and at the request of the Government, the electricity tariff was reviewed as more than five years had lapsed since the previous review. This tariff review also provided guidance to the Government for negotiating the level and structure of consumer tariffs and formulating a different process for tariff-setting for the expiring (end 2010) concession in Luganville. In May 2010, the Authority completed its tariff review and recommended a 6.8% reduction of the electricity tariff, which is applied in Luganville. The decision was disputed for the three other concessions and a panel of arbitration was set up to find a compromise. In May 2011, the tariff was reduced by 4.7% on average for the, Port Vila, Malekula and Tanna concessions. This was the first ever electricity price reduction and a great achievement to the benefit of all electricity customers in Vanuatu.  In addition, the Authority has put in place a transparent regulatory framework structure for tariff setting and it will review the price of electricity every five years.

PDF Framework Paper April 2009

PDF Tariff Application Report March 2010

PDF Position Paper March 2010

PDF Gilead Sofosbuvir Price 2010

PDF Final Decision May 2010

PDF Arbitration Award Letter April 2011

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LUGANVILLE ELECTRICITY TARIFF SETTING

UNELCO started operating the power supply concession in Luganville on 23 January 1990. The 20-year concession expired on 31 December, 2010. The tender process ended on 19 November with the appointment of Pernix Group, Inc. Its subsidiary Vanuatu Utilities and Infrastructure Limited (VUI) started operating the concession on 1 January 2011.The Act empowers the Authority to set the maximum level of tariff for the Luganville concession.

PDF Framework Paper July 2010

PDF Final Determination Stage 1 August 2010

PDF Draft Determination Stage 2 June 2011

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ELECTRICITY RELIABILITY STANDARDS

In accordance with the URA Act’s Division 2 section 17 – Safety standards, orders, inspection and reliability standards – the Authority may issue reliability standards in relation to the reliability of a regulated service throughout Vanuatu. In determining whether to issue any reliability standard, the Authority must have regard to the cost and convenience of compliance with the reliability standard and the nature and importance of the reliability issue that is addressed. The Electricity Reliability Standards are issued by the Authority as guidelines for electricity utilities to ensure that reliable electricity is generated and distributed to customers. The Authority influences utilities reliability of supply through a financial incentive scheme, which encourages the utilities to meet and exceed the target levels of reliability. Each Standard has specific performance requirements that must be met to manage reliability and quality issues effectively. A guideline is provided with each standard to assist regulated utilities in understanding and complying with the requirements.

PDF Electricity Reliability Standards July 2011

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ELECTRICITY SAFETY STANDARDS

In accordance with the URA Act’s Division 2 – Safety standards, orders, inspection and reliability standards, section 14, the Authority may issue safety standards in relation to the safety of a regulated service throughout Vanuatu. In determining whether to issue any safety standard, the Authority must have regard to the cost and convenience of compliance with the safety standard and the nature and importance of the safety issue that is addressed. The Electricity Safety Standards are issued by the Authority as guidelines for electricity utilities to ensure that electricity is generated and distributed safely to the consumers. They cover all aspects involved with providing safe electricity to ensure that the public including the personnel within the respective utilities as well as facilities involved in providing electricity are protected. Each Standard has specific performance requirements that must be met to manage Health and Safety issues effectively. A guideline is provided with each standard to assist regulated utilities in understanding and complying with the requirements.

PDF Electricity Safety Standards July 2011

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ELECTRICITY PREPAYMENT METER SYSTEM

According to the Utilities Regulatory Authority Act No 11 of 2007 the Authority is responsible for approving metering apparatus for measuring and controlling energy delivered to consumers. In April 2009, UNELCO requested that the Authority consider and approve the implementation of a prepayment meter trial within the Port Vila concession area. The Authority published its Prepayment Meter Technology Trial Review Issues Paper in June 2009. It set out specific issues and requirements for a prepayment meter technology trial on which stakeholders were invited to comment. The utility commenced implementation of a trial project at Mele Maat by January 2010. In September 2010 UNELCO provided the Authority a report on the prepayment meter technology trial setting out its assessment and findings. The Authority has conducted a series of consultations and considered stakeholder’s comments before issuing its draft decision. It is currently in talks with the utility to complete the final decision.

PDF Prepayment Meter Technology Trial Review Issues Paper April 2009

PDF Position Paper March 2012

PDF Draft Decision August 2012

PDF Revised Draft Decision June 2013

PDF Final Decision August 2013

PDF Prepayment Meter Consultation Stage 4 Report August 2013

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EXTENSION OF ELECTRICITY GRID IN TANNA AND MALEKULA CONCESSIONS INDEPENDENT REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT OF PROJECT PROPOSALS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF VANUATU

On 7 July 2011 the Director General of the Ministry of Lands Geology Mines and Water Resources requested that the Authority review and assess the project proposals for the extension of electricity grids in Tanna and Malekula concessions. This paper sets out the Authority’s findings and recommendations to the Government following its review and evaluation of the information that were provided.

PDF Independent Review and Assessment of Project Proposals for the Government of Vanuatu July 2011

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