NERSA is the regulatory authority established as a juristic person in terms of Section 3 of the National Energy Regulator Act, 2004 (Act No. 40 of 2004). NERSA’s goal is to regulate the electricity, piped-gas and petroleum pipelines in South Africa. The structure of the Energy Regulator consists of nine Regulator Members, five of whom are part-time and four full-time.
The Energy Regulator is supported by a secretariat under the leadership of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act No. 4 of 2006) gives NERSA a mandate to regulate the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) by ensuring that an efficient and effective ESI is in place to meet the requirements of existing and future electricity customers. Regulatory activities undertaken by NERSA include but are not limited to:
Issuing of licences related to the electricity generation, transmission, and distribution activities/operations. Granting of licenses pertaining to electricity trading, which encompasses both the import and export of electricity, approval of tariffs applications and provision of both technical and regulatory advisory services to the Minister of Energy.
The resale of electricity in South Africa has become a business on its own and has become a regulator when it comes to supply and demand when serving the needs of its end customers or the public. What the customer and end user must take into account, although the sale of utilities is a regulated industry. The resale of electricity is not with in the governing act and unlicensed resellers or agents buy electricity in bulk and resell to a captive market under stringent conditions. This is an unregulated market.
The latter captures the real problem which is commonly found in our cities. In NERSA’s study they found a number of risks and externalities in the unregulated market, mainly being that the electricity resale becomes a monopolistic market and exploits customers to pay for other services.
This is NERSA’s main objective, to help customers and give access to proper systems/processes for recourse from their bona fide electricity resellers in so far as the protection of their interest is concerned.
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