The Energy and Water Utilities Authority (EWURA)

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Overview

The Energy and Water Utilities Authority (EWURA) is an autonomous and multi-sectoral regulatory authority established in February 2006 by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority Act, Cap 414. The Authority is charged with the responsibility of overseeing technological and economic regulation in four sectors, namely Electricity, Natural Gas, Petroleum and Water.[1]

Mission and Vision

According to the Authority’s website, EWURA is guided by a mission to “regulate the Energy and Water services in a transparent, effective and efficient manner that promotes investments and enhances the socio-economic welfare of the Tanzanian Society,” with a vision to become “a world class regulator of energy and water services.”[2]

Major Functions and Duties

The Authority’s functions among others include “licensing, tariff review, monitoring performance and standards with regard to quality, safety, health and environment.” The authority is also expected to establish standards for goods and services provided, regulate rates and charges, make rules and monitor the regulated sectors performance.[3]

In fulfilling its functions, the Authority strives to ensure that it: [4]

  • Promotes effective competition and economic efficiency
  • Protects the interests of consumers
  • Protects the financial viability of efficient suppliers
  • Promotes the availability of regulated services to all consumers including low income, rural-based and disadvantaged consumers
  • Protects and preserves the environment, and
  • Enhances public knowledge, awareness and understanding of the regulated sectors.

Strategic Plan

EWURA is guided by a four-year Strategic Plan which identifies the following strategic objectives which need to be addressed over the next fixe years:[5]

  • Quality, availability and affordability of regulated services improved;
  • Public knowledge, awareness and understanding of regulatory functions in the regulated sectors enhanced;
  • EWURA functions effectively and efficiently managed; and
  • Interventions against HIV/AIDS, corruption and other cross-cutting issues enhanced.

Based on these Strategic Objectives, strategies have been identified with corresponding targets, activities and outcome indicators.[6]

Management

The Authority is run by Director-General who oversees daily operations. The Director-General is assisted by heads of different departments and divisions. EWURA has seven divisions: Electricity, Petroleum, Natural Gas, Water and Sewerage, Legal Services, Regulatory Economic, and Corporate Affairs. Like many other government authorities, EWURA has Board of Directors whose chairperson is appointed by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania.[7]

Natural Gas-related Activities

EWURA regulates mid- and down-stream natural gas activities on Mainland Tanzania. These activities include processing, transportation, storage and distribution. Related infrastructure such as gas processing plants, transmission and distribution pipelines also fall under the Authority’s regulatory activities and are inspected on the ground.[8] With the introduction of the Petroleum Act, 2015, EWURA prepared different tools to regulate the natural gas sub sector. These include input to the regulations, drafting rules and guidelines, construction permits and templates of licences. EWURA has supported the development of the Draft Petroleum (Natural Gas Pricing) Regulations, 2016 which will facilitate setting of tariffs (for natural gas processing, transmission and distribution), indicative price and strategic investments; the Draft Petroleum (Local Content) Regulations, 2017 which will promote local participation (through employment, technology transfer, acquiring long-term interest, and domestic procurement); and the Draft Petroleum (Corporate Integrity Pledge) Regulations, 2017 which will guide on good governance practices in the natural gas subsector.[9] Furthermore, EWURA monitors organizations involved in the mid- and down-stream through quarterly visits. These visits serve to verify compliance with legislations, policies and plan. They furthermore enable EWURA to improve its own tariff methodologies. EWURA also collaborates with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and USAID to review the pipeline regulations, rules and uniform systems of accounts.[10]

Challenges in Regulating the Sector

The challenges EWURA faced during the implementation of the second Strategic Plan (2012/13 – 2016/17) include the following: [11]

  • Late enactment and coming into force of the Legislation governing Natural Gas impacted implementation of planned targets in the sub-sector.
  • Promotion of investment through public private partnerships (PPP) was one of the main strategies during the implementation of the second five year Strategic Plan (2012/13-2016/17) but as PPP is a new concept in Tanzania, the country faces inadequate expertise both in-house and in the regulated utilities and specific PPP frameworks are yet to be developed.
  • Regulatory functions are heavily dependent on operating procedures of other institutions which sometimes have slowed down implementation of some of the key activities.
  • Inadequate technical and financial capacity particularly in the district and township water utilities has negatively impacted the Regulator’s compliance requirements.
  • Delays in obtaining Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Certificate has led to prevalence of petroleum stations constructed without approval from EWURA. In addition, there have been delays in securing Land Title Deeds; and EIA Certifi cates for electricity generation.
  • Increased smuggling of kerosene from neighbouring countries and selling of transit and tax exempted products.
  • Inadequate gas infrastructure which negatively impacts industrial growth and domestic and external consumption.
  • High rent for EWURA’s Headquarters office located in Dar es Salaam, while initial efforts to construct an offi ce building in Dar es Salaam started but was stopped. The challenge is how to mobilize resources for relocation to Dodoma and at the same time implementing operational cost reduction measures.
  • Existence of substandard petroleum outlets in rural areas which are non-compliant to EWURA’s standards and are a security hazard while the Regulator has the responsibility of ensuring both security and supply.
  • The current mode of petroleum transportation using roads is costly in terms of; high petroleum prices in peripheral areas, destruction of roads, safety, and the environment. The conventional way of using pipeline and railways is capital intensive.
  • The EWURA Act, Cap 414 provides for regulatory independency. However, there are trends of threatening that independency through political and administrative interference.


References

  1. Overview”, “Ewura”, retrieved 26 August 2018.
  2. Overview”, “Ewura”, retrieved 26 August 2018.
  3. Overview”, “Ewura”, retrieved 26 August 2018.
  4. Overview”, “Ewura”, retrieved 26 August 2018.
  5. Ewura Strategic Plan for 2017/18 – 2021/22”, “Ewura”, retrieved 27 August 2018.
  6. Ewura Strategic Plan for 2017/18 – 2021/22”, “Ewura”, retrieved 27 August 2018.
  7. Board of Directors”, “Ewura”, retrieved 27 August 2018.
  8. Ewura Strategic Plan for 2017/18 – 2021/22”, “Ewura”, retrieved 27 August 2018.
  9. Ewura Strategic Plan for 2017/18 – 2021/22”, “Ewura”, retrieved 27 August 2018.
  10. Ewura Strategic Plan for 2017/18 – 2021/22”, “Ewura”, retrieved 27 August 2018.
  11. Ewura Strategic Plan for 2017/18 – 2021/22”, “Ewura”, retrieved 27 August 2018.