Saturday, September 21, 2019

NURC Apprises Consumers of Its Functions

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Press Release:-  Throughout the world, Governments face the challenge of delivering sufficient levels of efficient infrastructural investment to support economic growth and enhance the living standards of their citizens.

In Saint Lucia, the National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC) is an independent, statutory body established by the Government of Saint Lucia to safeguard the promotion of the highest quality of utility services at fair and reasonable rates while building a credible regulatory regime that responds adequately to stakeholders’ concerns.

In the conduct of its regulatory functions the NURC is guided by the legislative and regulatory framework set out in the National Utilities Regulatory Commission Act of No. 3 of 2016; which empowers the Commission with the regulatory tools and powers required for effectiveness.

This framework gives the NURC broad responsibility for licensing and economic regulation of utility services within the energy, water and sewerage sectors in Saint Lucia. The NURC is further authorized to licence and regulate all renewable energy generation by private persons or entities; and where applicable sets rates, technical and service standards for the sectors and entities that it regulates.  

The NURC, as the regulating authority for renewable energy is also charged with the responsibility of issuing permits to persons wishing to generate electricity from a renewable source. In keeping with this mandate, the Commission has developed and published interconnection application procedures for the generation of electricity from solar Photovoltaic (PV) sources.

The procedures are inclusive of a PV application form which is mandatory for applicants seeking to connect to LUCELLEC’s electrical network.

As the economic regulator for water supply services and sewerage services the NURC is responsible for establishing, approving, reviewing and monitoring tariff schemes and tariffs in accordance with the Water and Sewerage Act Cap. 9.03 as amended by the NURC Act.

 Furthermore, the Commission works assiduously to ensure that the highest quality water and sewerage services are delivered to the customer at an affordable rate, while ensuring that WASCO can manage and operate in an economic and efficient manner.  

As part of its remit, the NURC provides resources which empowers consumers with the knowledge needed for resolving complaints with the Service Providers that it regulates (WASCO and LUCELEC).

The NURC provides free impartial information and advice to all electricity and water consumers and acts as a neutral third party or intermediary to those who have been unable to obtain redress or those who are dissatisfied with the decision of the Service Provider.

In the equitable and transparent delivery of its mandated services, the NURC is guided by its organizational vision; “To be seen and accepted as an effective, fair and responsible regulator of water, sewerage and electricity supply services in Saint Lucia”; and the following functions as legally inscribed:

  1. Ensuring the economic regulation of utility supply services,
  2. Establishing, approving, monitoring and reviewing tariff schemes and tariffs,
  3. Monitoring and ensuring compliance with standards,  
  4. Promoting the economic regulation of utility supply services,
  5. Ensuring the protection of the interest of consumers in relation to the provisions of the utility supply service,
  6. Promoting competition and monitoring anti-competitive practices in the utility supply service, and
  7. Reporting to and advising the Minister with responsibility for Public Utilities on the economic, financial, legal, technical, environmental and social aspects of the utility supply services sector.

The NURC serves a variety of stakeholders. As a regulator, the NURC’s work impacts not only the companies and individuals under its regulatory authority but also the consumers of the services which these companies provide and those otherwise invested in any of the service areas that the NURC regulates.

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