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EDITORIALS  

UNDERSTANDING THE FUNCTIONS OF THE ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION AND SUPPLY AUTHORITY (EDSA}
By Ibrahim Turay EDSA Intern
Mar 16, 2016, 17:10
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Understanding the functions of any organization or institution helps people to know the purpose upon which that particular institution exists. It can also lead to the understanding of the job or duty expected to be performed by such an institution or organization.


Therefore, it is the responsibility of every recognized institution to help the general public understand its core values and functions upon which it was established.


The defunct National Power Authority (NPA) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1982.  It was called the Sierra Leone Electricity Corporation.


The name National Power Authority was captioned in the “Supplement to the Sierra Leone Gazette Volume CXIII, Number 17, and dated 25th March 1982”.


NPA was described as an autonomous body that generates, transmits, distributes and supplies electricity throughout the country.  The core business of NPA was to ensure the provisions of safe, reliable, adequate, environmentally compliant and affordable electricity supply to its residential, commercial and industrial customers.  


The population of Sierra Leone has grown from 2.5 million people in the early 1970s to approximately 6.3 million in 2013 (EST.). 


Because of the challenges faced by the former National Power Authority (NPA) in providing electricity services, a National Electricity Act was promulgated in 2011 by parliament, which saw the unbundling of the vertically integrated NPA into two entities, that is, the Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC) which is responsible for generating and transforming electricity  and the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) which is responsible for the distribution and supply of electricity.


The Ministry of Energy is the sole body charged with the responsibility of overseeing the country’s overall energy sector.


To aid the Ministry in its tasks of ensuring reliable, efficient, effective, and affordable power generation and distribution, the government established the regulatory Commission known as the Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission in 2011.


The Commission is to regulate the provision of electricity and water services and to provide for other matter related therewith.


Section 2 (1) of the Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission Act provides that “Subject to this Act, the Commission shall have power to- (a) set or otherwise determine rates for electricity and water services; and (b) carry out regular reviews of rates and charges for regulated and unregulated services.


The National Electricity Act 2011 incorporates the Electricity Generation and Transmission Company and establishes the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority.


Part V, Section 25 of the National Electricity Act provides that “There is hereby established a body to be known as the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority.


ESDA takes over the services of the former National Power Authority (NPA) including the Bo/ Kenema Power Services (BKPS). 


The idea behind this formation is to involve the private sector more in energy generation and distribution in order to realize and accomplish the Government’s Agenda for Prosperity’, which includes among other things sustainable, efficient, reliable and affordable electricity supply to the people by 2018.


The Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) is the sole body which is responsible for the supply, distribution, and retail sale of electricity in the entire country.


It is the responsibility of EDSA to dispatch system control of electricity within its territory, to establishes far as practicable uniform standard voltages throughout its area of supply, and to secure the supply of electricity at reasonable prices.


It carries on any business usually associated with electricity distribution and supply, and promotes and encourages the economic and efficient use of electricity; especially for domestic, commercial, agricultural, industrial and manufacturing purposes.


It also performs other functions incidental or consequential to its functions under the Electricity Act of 2011.


It is important here for customers and the general public to understand that, the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) purchases electricity from the Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC) and the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) subject to a power purchase agreement approved by the Commission.


It is also important to understand that, at the moment the installed generation capacity under the management of the Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC) is 99.28MW; whilst available capacity is 64.28MW nationwide. Freetown which is the capital city enjoys about 87.9-% of the total available capacity.


As a government owned utility, corporate governance in EDSA includes the relationships among the many stakeholders involved such as the external stakeholders and internal stakeholders.


The External Stakeholders include the Ministry of Energy, National Commission for Privatization (NCP), Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) at State House, Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC), our regional counterpart, West Africa Power Pool [WAPP] and ECOWAS, and our valued customers (residential, commercial and industrial).


The internal stakeholders are the Board of Directors, Executive Management and other employees.


Corporate governance includes the relationship of our external stakeholders and the internal stakeholders and the goals for which EDSA is governed. 


EDSA is governed by a Board of Directors. The board has the responsibility of endorsing the utility’s strategy, developing directional policy, appointing, supervising and remunerating executive management staff, and ensuring accountability of the organization to its stakeholders.


EDSA Board of Directors consists of a Chairman, anda representative each from the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture; The Association of Manufacturer; The Association of Bankers; The Association of Professional Engineers; and two persons appointed for their knowledge and expertise in such fields relating to energy and power.


Our Vision and Mission central around efficiently managing modern electricity distribution and supply network that is safe, affordable, efficient, reliable, sustainable and competitive for domestic, commercial and industrial consumers nationwide;And to develop a modern and efficient national electricity distribution infrastructure that meets the energy requirements for industrial, commercial and domestic customers through upgrading and expansion of the existing network, expansion of prepaid metering systems and training of  staff for effective utility management and skilled maintenance of the national distribution and supply network. 


Our core values includes team work in taking collective decisions and responsibility;  towork in the interest of our customers and other stakeholders; to ensure transparency and accountability by ensuring openness in our activities; and tocomply with the provisions of the National Electricity Act (NEA 2011) that established the Authority.


We cooperatively work with other stakeholders and institutions.  Therefore, we plead for energy conservation, as it is important for both EDSA Power and the customers’ consumptions.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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