The National Energy Regulator has drafted new regulations which require you to register and pay licence fees for your generator or solar panels, whether connected to the grid or not.
Nersa has invited us to comment and provide input on the draft rules.
Please provide your comment in the space below. If you object or support the new rules, please provide suggestions or reasons. Should you be at a loss for words, read the summary, live input or documents below the form. Feel free to copy and paste into the message area provided.
If you don’t take any action, your inaction will be regarded as tacit agreement with the new rules. Closing date is 31 May 2018.
It is important to note this is not simply a petition but the first step in an essential Participative Democracy process. And here’s the best bit; as each comment is immediately sent as a separate email to the designated government representative, comments must, by law, be individually acknowledged and considered by the Government. Had this been a petition, they would treat it as a single comment.
By using this service you ensure an accurate record of submissions is held by civil society (on our encrypted database) so government cannot fudge facts and figures. This process forms a solid foundation for a legal case should the necessity arise.
Add your comment now.
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- The rules apply both to off-grid systems‚ with no connection to the national electricity system‚ and systems connected to the grid in any way – whether or not they are intended to feed electricity back into the grid.
- Small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) includes generators‚ solar photo-voltaic panels and backup generators.
- submitting an application for registration to Nersa;
- receiving a quotation after the application from the distributor‚ paying the required connection charge/fees and signing the required connection and use of system agreement;
- ensuring that the connection and the equipment used are certified to comply with all required technical standards.The rules state that no customer may connect to the distribution system (municipality or Eskom) without the following:
- Upon receiving the application and conclusion of the customer connection and use-of-system agreement with the distributor‚ the distributor will then send the information to Nersa for registration.
- To complicate matters‚ it is only possible to register by way of an electricity distributor – either Eskom or a municipality – even for generators that are not due to be connected to such a distributor’s system.
- The rules apply to all generators of less than 1 megawatt. Above that level‚ the law requires the same sort of licensing as for a full-blown power station.
- Eskom or a municipality responsible for distribution also has its own responsibilities‚ which include the following:
- providing to the customer non-discriminatory access to its distribution system‚ except if there are objectively justifiable reasons;
- ensuring that the connection to the distribution complies with the licence conditions of the distributor‚ grid code and national requirements; and
- should the customer want to increase the supply to above 1 megawatts‚ the distributor will redirect the customer to apply to Nersa for a generation licence‚ provided that the distributor agrees with the applicant’s request to increase the supply and exemption has been granted by the Department of Energy.
All South Africans, from peaceful pensioner to street vendor barber and large business owners, are under pressure to oppose the New Nersa regulations for small-scale embedded generators (SSEG Rules) as provision for public comments closes on 31 May 2018.
Under these rules, which have been in the pipeline for months, is the requirement for all owners/buyers of small-scale “electricity generators” less than 1 MW to make an application for the establishment of the installation to their local distributor (municipality or Eskom) and then to register with Nersa.
“I view the rules as draconian,” says Ted Blom, a partner at Mining & Energy Advisors, “as they apply to all small installations, whether for private or public use and whether they are to be connected to the grid or not”.
Blom highlights that the definitions and rules are far too wide as they essentially extend right down to micro-solar chargers for cell phones. The definitions are also not clear as they demand registration of all devices, yet only describe the procedure to be followed for GRID linked devices.
The ambit of these regulations is similar to the unworkable and failed Gauteng e-Toll regulations yet far wider in that they apply to almost all 55 million South Africans in all nine provinces. “These rules are poorly drafted and unworkable and will result in wide-scale civil disobedience if promulgated,” warns Blom.
Such regulations will result in a permitting system, and eventually, licence fees will be instituted to fund policing of installations. This added cost will give rise to yet another financial burden for ordinary SA citizens, which Blom makes clear “is a regrettable situation which we will challenge”.