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ELECTRICITY ACT, 1999.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS.

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY.

   1.   Commencement.

   2.   Object of Act.

   3.   Interpretation.

PART II
ELECTRICITY REGULATORY AUTHORITY.

   4.   Establishment of authority.

   5.   Composition of authority.

   6.   Disqualification from appointment.

   7.   Tenure of office of members.

   8.   Termination of appointment.

   9.   Remuneration of members of authority.

   10.   Functions of authority.

   11.   Conduct of functions.

   12.   Meetings of authority.

   13.   Special committees of authority.

   14.   Consultants.

   15.   Delegation of functions.

   16.   Independence of authority.

   17.   Powers of Minister.

PART III
SECRETARIAT AND STAFF OF AUTHORITY.

   18.   Secretariat.

   19.   Chief executive officer.

   20.   Functions of chief executive officer.

   21.   Other staff.

PART IV
FINANCE.

   22.   Funds of authority.

   23.   Estimates.

   24.   Power to operate bank accounts.

   25.   Borrowing powers.

   26.   Application and investment of surplus funds.

   27.   Financial year of authority.

   28.   Accounts and audit.

PART V
LICENSING.

   29.   Notice of intended application.

   30.   Publication of advertisement.

   31.   Permits.

   32.   Authority may invite applications.

   33.   Applications.

   34.   Processing of applications.

   35.   Publication of notice of applications.

   36.   Objection to grant of licence.

   37.   Factors to be considered for application.

   38.   Refusal to grant licence.

   39.   Other licences.

   40.   Authority may order compliance.

   41.   Emergencies.

   42.   Revocation of licence.

   43.   Modification of licence.

   44.   Licensee's application for modification.

   45.   Duration of licence.

   46.   Transfer of licence.

   47.   Performance of activities.

   48.   Records and reports.

   49.   Removal of installations.

   50.   Notice of accidents.

PART VI
LICENCES.

   51.   Generation licence.

   52.   Reversion of hydropower plant.

   53.   Transmission licence.

   54.   Licensee to provide access.

   55.   System operator.

   56.   Bulk supplier.

   57.   Distribution licence.

   58.   Access to users.

   59.   Sale licence.

   60.   Export and import licences.

   61.   Prohibition of unlicensed activity.

PART VII
RURAL ELECTRIFICATION.

   62.   Obligations of Government.

   63.   Rural electrification strategy.

   64.   Rural Electrification Fund.

   65.   Criteria for subsidy access.

   66.   Rural electrification data base.

PART VIII
USE OF LAND FOR INSTALLATIONS.

   67.   Power of licensee to use land.

   68.   Procedure for using public land.

   69.   Removal or alteration of electric supply line.

   70.   Compensation.

   71.   Compulsory acquisition of land.

PART IX
INSPECTION.

   72.   Reports.

   73.   Inspectors.

   74.   Investigations.

PART X
TARIFFS.

   75.   Tariffs and terms of supply.

PART XI
RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CONSUMERS.

   76.   Duties of consumers.

   77.   Supply of electricity.

   78.   Licensee's fees.

   79.   Exceptions to duty to supply electricity.

   80.   Security.

PART XII
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES.

   81.   Offences relating to installations and equipment.

   82.   Offences relating to supply of electricity and electrical works.

   83.   Offences relating to licences.

   84.   Offences relating to registration.

   85.   Damage to public lamps, etc.

   86.   Diversion of energy and damage to supply lines.

   87.   Interference with electrical installations.

   88.   Installation of electrical wiring.

   89.   General penalty.

   90.   Compensation.

   91.   False information.

   92.   Compensation order.

PART XIII
ELECTRICITY DISPUTES TRIBUNAL.

   93.   Establishment of tribunal.

   94.   Chairperson and vice chairperson of tribunal.

   95.   Appointment of other members.

   96.   Qualifications for appointment.

   97.   Tenure of office.

   98.   Conditions of appointment.

   99.   Disqualification from appointment to tribunal.

   100.   Oath of office.

   101.   Termination of appointment.

   102.   Disclosure of interest.

   103.   Official seal.

   104.   Arrangement of business.

   105.   Constitution of tribunal for exercise of powers.

   106.   Technical advice.

   107.   Remuneration.

   108.   Funds of tribunal.

   109.   Jurisdiction of tribunal.

   110.   Power of review and appeals from tribunal.

   111.   Procedure of tribunal.

   112.   Registrar of tribunal.

PART XIV
MISCELLANEOUS.

   113.   Exemptions.

   114.   Administrative procedures.

   115.   Annual and other reports.

   116.   Common seal and other instruments of authority.

   117.   Documents to be public documents.

   118.   Immunity of members and staff of authority.

   119.   Regulations.

   120.   Grid code.

   121.   Amendment of Schedules.

PART XV
TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS.

   122.   Initial licences.

   123.   Continuance of operations of Uganda Electricity Board.

   124.   Saving of licences.

   125.   Successor company.

   126.   Vesting of property in successor company.

   127.   Issuing of securities and shares.

   128.   Employees of Uganda Electricity Board.

   129.   Pension fund and former employees.

   130.   Repeal and savings.

 

      First Schedule   Meetings of authority and other matters.

      Second Schedule   Currency point.

 

CHAPTER 145
ELECTRICITY ACT, 1999.

Commencement: 1 November 1999, except sections 123, 130 and Part XIII; 5 April 2002, sections 61 and 119.

   An Act to provide for the establishment of the Electricity Regulatory Authority; to provide for its functions, powers and administration; to provide for the generation, transmission, distribution, sale and use of electricity; to provide for the licensing and control of activities in the electricity sector; to provide for plant and equipment and for matters relating to safety; to liberalise and introduce competition in the electricity sector; to repeal the Electricity Act; to provide for a successor company to the Uganda Electricity Board and for connected purposes.

 

PART I
PRELIMINARY.

 

1.   Commencement.

   This Act shall come into force on a day to be appointed by the Minister by statutory instrument, and different days may be appointed for the commencement of different provisions.

 

2.   Object of Act.

   The object of this Act is to regulate the generation, transmission, distribution, sale, export, import and distribution of electrical energy in Uganda.

 

3.   Interpretation.

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   (a)   "apparatus" means electrical apparatus, and includes all machines, apparatus and fittings in which conductors are used or of which they form part;

   (b)   "area of distribution" means the area within which the holder of a distribution licence is, for the time being, authorised to distribute electrical energy;

   (c)   "Authority" means the Electricity Regulatory Authority established under section 4;

   (d)   "bulk supplier" means the person responsible for transmission and sale of electricity in bulk to distribution and sales companies in accordance with section 56;

   (e)   "Chief Executive Officer" means the chief executive officer of the authority appointed under section 19;

   (f)   "company" means a company within the meaning of the Companies Act;

   (g)   "consumer" means any person supplied or entitled to be supplied with electrical energy for personal, industrial and commercial use but does not include a person supplied with electrical energy for delivery to another person;

   (h)   "currency point" means the value of a currency point specified in the Second Schedule to this Act;

   (i)   "distribution" means the ownership, operation, management or control of distribution facilities for the movement or delivery of electricity to consumers;

   (j)   "distribution facilities" means electrical facilities operated at distribution voltage and used for the movement or delivery of electricity;

   (k)   "distribution voltage" means any voltage below the minimum transmission voltage;

   (l)   "electric supply line" means a wire, conductor or other means used or intended to be used for the purpose of conveying, transmitting, distributing, serving or using electrical energy, together with any casing, coating, covering, tube, pipe, insulator or support enclosing, surrounding or supporting the same or any part thereof; or any apparatus, including apparatus for switching, controlling, transforming, converting or otherwise regulating electric energy ancillary thereto, for the purpose of conveying, transmitting, distributing, serving or using electrical energy, but does not include any telegraph or telephone line;

   (m)   "electrical energy" means electrical energy when generated, transmitted, distributed or utilised for any purpose except the transmission of any communication signal;

   (n)   "electricity" means electric power generated from water, mineral oil, coal, gas, solar energy, wind energy, atomic energy or any other means;

   (o)   "fair competition" has the meaning in section 74;

   (p)   "fund" means the Rural Electrification Fund established under section 64;

   (q)   "generating station" means any station for generating electricity, including any building and plant used for that purpose, the site of the generating station and a site intended to be used for a generating station, but does not include a station for transforming, converting or distributing electrical energy;

   (r)   "generation" means the generation of electricity from water, mineral oil, coal, gas or any other means;

   (s)   "grid code" means a national grid code or similar regulations of national application prescribed by the authority, relating to the planning, scheduling or dispatch of electrical energy in Uganda;

   (t)   "inspector" means an inspector appointed under section 73;

   (u)   "installation" means the whole of any plant or equipment under one ownership or, where a management is prescribed, the person in charge of the management, designed for the supply or use or both, as the case may be, of electrical energy;

   (v)   "licence" means a licence issued under this Act;

   (w)   "licensee" means the holder of a licence under this Act;

   (x)   "local government" means a local government council established under the Local Governments Act and includes a public officer authorised by a local government;

   (y)   "minimum transmission voltage" means 33 kilovolts or such other voltage as the authority may, by regulation, determine to be the minimum voltage at which an electrical facility in Uganda is generally operated when used to deliver electricity in bulk;

   (z)   "Minister" means the Minister responsible for electricity;

   (aa)   "person" includes any individual, firm, company, association, partnership or body of persons, whether incorporated or not;

   (bb)   "prescribed" means prescribed under this Act;

   (cc)   "public lamp" means an electric lamp used for the lighting of a street or public place;

   (dd)   "Public Service Commission" means the Public Service Commission established under the Constitution;

   (ee)   "sale" means the sale of electrical energy to a consumer for the consumer's own use or for resale to third parties;

   (ff)   "secretary" means the secretary of the authority appointed under section 18;

   (gg)   "supply" means the supply to consumers, generation, transmission, distribution and sale, including importation and exportation, of electrical energy;

   (hh)   "system operator" means a person designated to operate the power system as described in section 55 and in accordance with the grid code;

   (ii)   "transmission" includes the ownership, operation, management or control of transmission facilities for whatever purpose;

   (jj)   "transmission facilities" means electrical facilities, including but not limited to electrical circuits, transformers, and substations operating above a voltage of 33 kilovolts but does not include—

      (i)   electrical circuits forming the immediate connection between generation facilities and the transmission grid to the extent that those circuits are owned by a generator and are directly associated with the generation facilities; and

      (ii)   specified facilities operating at or above minimum transmission voltage if the authority, upon application by a licensee, determines that those facilities should be owned and operated by a distribution licensee;

   (kk)   "tribunal" means the Electricity Disputes Tribunal established under section 93;

   (ll)   "Uganda Electricity Board" means the Uganda Electricity Board established under the Electricity Act.

 

PART II
ELECTRICITY REGULATORY AUTHORITY.

 

4.   Establishment of authority.

   (1) There is established the Electricity Regulatory Authority.

   (2) The authority is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and may—

   (a)   acquire, hold and dispose of moveable and immoveable property;

   (b)   sue and be sued in its corporate name;

   (c)   do all other things as a body corporate may lawfully do.

 

5.   Composition of authority.

   (1) The authority shall consist of five members of high moral character and proven integrity and competence appointed by the Minister with the approval of Cabinet.

   (2) The Minister shall designate as chairperson of the authority one of the members who is qualified and experienced in management, economics or the electric power sector.

   (3) The other members of the authority shall have proven experience in—

   (a)   engineering, either in the generation, transmission or distribution of electricity;

   (b)   law, administration or management;

   (c)   finance or economics;

   (d)   the energy industry; or

   (e)   environmental matters.

   (4) Of the other members of the authority, each shall be qualified in at least one of the areas specified in subsection (3).

   (5) The chief executive officer shall be an ex officio member of the authority but shall not have a right to vote at any meeting of the authority.

 

6.   Disqualification from appointment.

   A person shall not be appointed to the authority who—

   (a)   is a shareholder, a member of the board, an employee, or the holder of a licence, of any entity operating in, or providing services to, the electricity industry likely to cause a conflict of interest;

   (b)   is an undischarged bankrupt;

   (c)   has been convicted of an offence under this Act or an offence involving fraud or dishonesty by a competent court in Uganda or elsewhere;

   (d)   has been convicted of an offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of six months or more by a competent court in Uganda or elsewhere; or

   (e)   is a public officer, a member of Parliament, a Minister or a member of a local government council.

 

7.   Tenure of office of members.

   (1) A member of the authority shall hold office for a term of five years and is eligible for reappointment.

   (2) A member shall not be appointed for more than two terms.

 

8.   Termination of appointment.

   (1) A member of the authority may resign his or her office by 60 days' notice in writing delivered to the Minister.

   (2) The Minister shall remove from office a member of the authority who—

   (a)   is adjudged bankrupt under any law in force in Uganda and has not been discharged;

   (b)   becomes a public officer, a member of Parliament, a Minister or a member of a local government council;

   (c)   is convicted of an offence under section 6(c) or (d) or an offence under this Act by a competent court in Uganda or elsewhere;

   (d)   has been absent, without leave of the authority, from more than three consecutive meetings of the authority;

   (e)   without reasonable cause has refused to act or has become incapable of acting for a period of at least six months;

   (f)   for any reason, is permanently incapable of performing the duties of a member;

   (g)   where information relating to the conduct of a member, which could have precluded his or her appointment if it had been made available to the Minister, is brought to the attention of the Minister; or

   (h)   has neglected the duties of a member or behaves in a manner unbecoming of the office of member.

   (3) Where it appears to the Minister that there is cause to remove a member under subsection (2), the Minister shall notify the member concerned in writing and shall give the member an opportunity to submit his or her explanation to the Minister.

   (4) Where a member is removed from office under this section, the Minister may appoint another person qualified in accordance with section 5 to replace the member to hold office for the remainder of the term of the previous member.

   (5) A person removed under this section is not entitled to any benefits that may be payable to him or her under section 9.

 

9.   Remuneration of members of authority.

   The members of the authority shall be paid such subsistence or other allowances as the Minister may, with the approval of Cabinet, specify in the instrument of appointment.

 

10.   Functions of authority.

   The functions of the authority are—

   (a)   to issue licences for—

      (i)   the generation, transmission, distribution or sale of electricity; and

      (ii)   the ownership or operation of transmission systems;

   (b)   to receive and process applications for licences;

   (c)   to prescribe conditions and terms of licences issued under this Act;

   (d)   to modify licences issued under this Act;

   (e)   to make and enforce directions to ensure compliance with licences issued under this Act;

   (f)   to establish a tariff structure and to investigate tariff charges, whether or not a specific complaint has been made for a tariff adjustment;

   (g)   to approve rates of charges and terms and conditions of electricity services provided by transmission and distribution companies;

   (h)   to review the organisation of generation, transmission and distribution companies or other legal entities engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to the extent that that organisation affects or is likely to affect the operation of the electricity sector and the efficient supply of electricity;

   (i)   to develop and enforce performance standards for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity;

   (j)   to encourage the development of uniform electricity industry standards and codes of conduct;

   (k)   to establish a uniform system of accounts for licensees;

   (l)   to advise the Minister regarding the need for electricity sector projects;

   (m)   to prepare industry reports and to gather information from generation, transmission and distribution companies;

   (n)   to prescribe and collect licence fees;

   (o)   to provide for the procedure for investment programmes by transmission and distribution companies;

   (p)   to approve standards for the quality of electricity supply services provided;

   (q)   to approve codes of conduct in respect of the operation of transmission and distribution systems;

   (r)   to acquire information and carry out investigations relating to any of its functions; and

   (s)   to perform any other function that is incidental or consequential to its functions under this section, or as may be conferred on it by any other law.

 

11.   Conduct of functions.

   (1) The authority shall perform its functions and exercise its powers in a manner that—

   (a)   is open and objective;

   (b)   is fair and reasonable;

   (c)   is nondiscriminatory; and

   (d)   promotes fair competition.

   (2) Notwithstanding the generality of subsection (1), the authority shall, in the performance of its functions—

   (a)   promote efficiency, economy and safety on the part of licensees and the efficient and safe use of electricity;

   (b)   ensure that licensees carry out the activities which they are licensed to perform;

   (c)   ensure that licensees comply with the conditions of their licences and protect the interests of consumers in respect of—

      (i)   the prices, charges and other terms of supply of electricity; and

      (ii)   the quality, efficiency, continuity and reliability of the supply services;

   (d)   promote competition in the generation and marketing of electricity;

   (e)   enable all licensees to connect to transmission systems and facilities in Uganda on a nondiscriminatory basis on terms and conditions that are fair and reasonable and, when practicable, ensure that licensees connect to distribution systems and facilities;

   (f)   ensure transparency in relation to the activities of the power sector and the authority;

   (g)   ensure a fair balance of the interests of the consumers, the Government and participants in the power sector; and

   (h)   promote continuity in the supply of electricity.

 

12.   Meetings of authority.

   The First Schedule to this Act has effect with respect to meetings of the authority and other matters to which it relates.

 

13.   Special committees of authority.

   (1) The authority may appoint one or more special committees—

   (a)   to inquire into and advise the authority on such matters within the scope of the authority's functions as the authority may refer to the special committee;

   (b)   to exercise such powers or perform such duties of the authority as the authority may delegate or refer to the special committee.

   (2) A special committee appointed under subsection (1) shall consist of a chairperson and other persons, whether members of the authority or not as the authority may determine.

   (3) Subject to any directions that may be given by the authority, a special committee may regulate its own procedure.

 

14.   Consultants.

   (1) The authority may co-opt a person to assist it on any matter if the authority is satisfied that the person's qualifications are likely to assist the authority.

   (2) A person co-opted to assist the authority under subsection (1) in relation to any matter may take part in the proceedings of the authority concerning that matter but is not entitled to vote at a meeting or take part in any other proceedings of the authority.

 

15.   Delegation of functions.

   (1) Subject to subsection (2), the authority may, by instrument of delegation, delegate to the chairperson, a member of the authority, an officer of the authority or to a committee established under section 13, any of the powers, duties or functions of the authority under this Act other than—

   (a)   the power to issue, reject, amend, revoke or impose conditions in respect of a licence;

   (b)   the power to approve or modify tariffs; and

   (c)   the power to make regulations.

   (2) The authority may delegate to any competent person, including a local government, in relation to an undertaking not exceeding two megawatts, the power to—

   (a)   issue, reject, impose conditions in respect of, amend or revoke a licence; and

   (b)   approve or modify tariffs under this Act.

   (3) The terms and conditions regulating the exercise of the powers delegated under this section shall be contained in the instrument of delegation.

   (4) A person aggrieved by the decision of a person or a local government in the exercise of its powers delegated under this section may appeal to the authority.

   (5) A person or a local government shall, in the exercise of a delegated power, duty or function under this section, comply with such directions or guidelines as the authority may from time to time communicate in writing to the person or local government.

 

16.   Independence of authority.

   The authority shall, subject to the declared policy of the Government and, except as is otherwise provided in this Act, be independent in the performance of its functions and duties and exercise of its powers and shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.

 

17.   Powers of Minister.

   (1) The Minister may, from time to time, give directions in writing to the authority with respect to the policy to be observed and implemented by the authority, except that the policy shall not adversely affect or interfere with the performance of the functions and exercise of powers of the authority under this Act.

   (2) The Minister shall cause a copy of any direction given to the authority under subsection (1) to be published in the Gazette.

 

PART III
SECRETARIAT AND STAFF OF AUTHORITY.

 

18.   Secretariat.

   (1) The authority shall have a secretariat consisting of a chief executive officer and other staff.

   (2) The authority shall have a secretary to be appointed by the authority on such terms and conditions as may be specified in the instrument of appointment.

   (3) The secretary shall—

   (a)   act as secretary to the authority and shall record the minutes of all proceedings of the authority;

   (b)   keep the minutes and other records of the authority;

   (c)   have custody of the seal of the authority; and

   (d)   carry out such other functions as the authority or the chief executive officer may assign to him or her.

   (4) The secretary shall, in the performance of his or her duties, be responsible to the chief executive officer.

 

19.   Chief executive officer.

   (1) The chief executive officer shall be appointed by the authority from among persons of high standards of integr

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