Electricity

Electricity

1.    ELECTRICITY SUB-SECTOR

1.1.        OVERVIEW

The Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) has the primary responsibility for setting the overall policy and strategy of the energy sector, and for coordinating the developments of the electricity sub-sector.

The restructuring of the energy supply industry from the former Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) in 2014 resulted in the creation of Rwanda Energy Group Limited (REG) and its two subsidiaries; The Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL) devoted to producing and distributing electricity country-wide while the Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) is entrusted with energy infrastructure planning and development.

As of July 2018, the cumulative connectivity rate is 48.6% of Rwandan households including 36.5% connected to the national grid and 12.2% accessing through off-grid systems (mainly solar).

During the elaboration of the EDPRS II, the Government of Rwanda took a clear policy decision to diversify the sources of electricity from traditional dominant grid to include even off-grid connections. 

Subsequently, Households far away from the planned national grid coverage have been encouraged to use alternatively cheaper connections such as Mini-grids and Solar Photovoltaics (PVs) to reduce the cost of access to electricity whilst relieving constraints on historical government subsidies.

Currenly, IPPs are selling bulk electricity to EUCL which has the monopoly over transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to customers connected to the national grid. It is important to note also that the System Operator (SO) functions reside also inside EUCL.

The Law N°21/2011 of 23/06/2011 governing Electricity in Rwanda (Electricity Law) and the Law N°52/2018 OF 13/08/2018 Modifying Law Nº21/2011 OF 23/06/2011 Governing Electricity in Rwanda as Modified to Date, is the cornerstone of electricity regulation in Rwanda. The following electricity licenses issued by RURA stem from the Electricity Law and the Electricity Licensing Regulations:

•         Electricity Production

•         Electricity Transmission 

•         Electricity Distribution

•         Electricity Domestic Trade

•         Electricity International Trade (Import and Export)

1.2.        RURA role

The regulation of electricity is performed through four Units within RURA namely Electricity and Renewable Energy Unit, Economic Regulation Unit, Legal Services Unit, and Consumer Affairs Unit to cater for all technical, economic and legal aspects of regulation. Those aspects include but are not limited to:  

•         advise the Government on policies relating to  the electricity and renewable Energy sub-sectors;

•         Review license applications in Generation, Transmission, Distribution and Supply of electricity; 

•         Set and enforce  regulations and standards;

•         Tariff setting

•         Review of Power Purchase Agreements and network service contracts;

•         Monitor, evaluate and ensure the quality of services provided by Licensed Operators;

•         Monitor compliance with license terms and conditions by licensees;

•         Ensure fair competition in electricity and renewable energy market;

•         Registration and issuance of permits to electrical installations practitioners;

•         Handling customers complaints and dispute resolution between players in the regulated sub-sectors;