LERC Commissioner Designate to Clamp Down on Power Theft – To Curb Commercial Loses

By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr.

MONROVIA: The Commissioner Designate of Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC), Amara M. Kamara says his administration will ensure the implementation of the power control mechanism to mitigate commercial loses in the system.

Appearing before the Senate committee on Lands, Mines and Natural Resources for confirmation hearing on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, Kamara said improved metering distribution, building partnership with local communities as well as ensuring stronger legal measures will help fight power theft.

He said implementing strategies to reduce technical loses and ensuring compliance with regulations including the enhancement and enforcement of key performance indicators are ways of reducing power theft in the country.

According to Kamara, the demonstrations of government commitment by regularly paying electricity bills is an example of its readiness to tackle the illegal use of electricity by ordinary citizens.

The Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission commissioner Designate told the Senate committee on Lands, Mines and Nature Resources that he will secure government budgetary support and align donors with priority areas.

Amara Kamara indicated that the LERC will remain engaging with the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) to assess the impact of tariffs on consumers to ensure consumers do not pay for the inefficiency of the utility.

Kamara added that the promotion of the economic aspect of energy by encouraging local businesses investment in the energy market will increase revenue generation for the entity.

He averred that the LERC will conduct sustained regulatory awareness and enforce International Standards Organization (ISO) codes for electrical material and consumables in its workings.

He further that the LERC will facilitate the formation of an Energy Sector Working Group, focusing on regulatory governance, policy oversight and operation as well as initiate discussion for the involvement of Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

Commissioner Designate Kamara maintained that prioritizing investment in the energy sector is crucial for unlocking Liberia’s potential, driving sustainable development, and improving its citizens’ overall quality of life.

He said the Liberia Electricity Corporation’s inadequate service delivery and overall poor performance over the years, have consistently eroded confidence in the LERC’s ability to regulate and ensure accountability among stakeholders and the public.

Kamara has however promised if confirm by the Liberian Senate to strive to regain public confidence in the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission, require the Liberia Electricity Corporation to charge of commercial loses and ensure performance by prioritizing short, medium and long term goals of the entity.

He also promised the establishment of a sustainable relationship with the Transco-CLSG and CI Energies, focusing increasing power imports through CLSG to address immediate demand, resolving legacy debt and honoring ongoing obligations.

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