LERC introduces new regulatory policies
By Lewis S Teh
The Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) has launched three new regulatory policies, covering certification licensing for electrical professionals and contractors, electrical wiring and Liberia electrical wiring code, for individuals engaged in electrical wiring across the country.
Making brief remarks at the official launch on Wednesday, March 29, at Manba Point community in central Monrovia, LERC Managing Director, Augustus V. Goanue said, the commission achieves an important milestone in the implementation of the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia, evidenced by the development and approval of said regulatory instruments.
“This is a huge milestone for our country, and this milestone has been achieved with the support of the European Union, the Government of Liberia, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, electricity services providers, and electricity sector partners”, Director Goanue said.
He explained these instruments elaborate qualification criteria for electrical
professionals and contractors desirous of undertaking electrical work or currently engaged in such activity, disclosing that the launch of the electrical wiring regulations and the Liberia electrical wiring code was funded by the European Union and with support from the Government of Liberia.
According to him, the Electrical Wiring Regulations establish requirements, procedures and practices for enforcement of minimum standards in distributing electrical energy in and around structures, including residential and commercial premises, public buildings, factories/industries, and construction sites.
Others include farmhouses, booths, temporary installations and playgrounds to ensure safety of persons, livestock and property from hazards that arise in the use of electricity, including safety against electric shocks, burns and fire.
“Following today’s program, and immediately after the transitional period, no person shall undertake electrical work unless that person has been certified or licensed under these Regulations. We, therefore, count on the collective support of all electricity sector
stakeholders as was exemplified during the technical review and validation workshops, to ensure compliance with these regulations”, the LERC boss said.
He added that as the commission moves into the implementation of these regulations, it will establish an interview panel consisting of representatives of relevant institutions or organizations as enshrined in the policy.
In consultation with the TVET division at the ministry of education, the commission shall designate TVET institutions to conduct written and practical examinations as part of the certification scheme, Mr. Goanue explained.
“If the electricity sector of Liberia must develop to heights that we all envision, then quality of service and standardization of processes cannot be overemphasized.”
Mines and Energy Minister Gesler E Murray, who also attended the launch, thanked the LERC for what he termed “a swift move in restoring dignity of the energy sector.”
There are several benefits for these regulatory instruments, key among them is that this will add standards to the practices of electrical wiring across the country, Minister Murray stressed.
According to him, with these measures being introduced, there will also be a corresponding reduction of risk from fire disasters, noting “often time we see places getting ablaze and, in most cases, they are caused by electrical shocks and we are excited that these regulations are coming to help minimize those things.”
“I also want to emphasize here that a strong electricity regulatory produce a vibrant commercial electricity”, the minister added.
The LERC is a statutory body created by the 2015 electricity law of Liberia to oversee and regulate the electricity sector. It began operation in 2018.
The commission is the lead entity for facilitating the transformation and development of the electricity sector to attract investment, improve availability and adequacy as well as quicken the pace of access to electricity in a liberalized sector. Editing by Jonathan Browne