REGULATION OF THE ELECTRICITY SECTOR
In 1972 the Electric Power Corporation (‘EPC’) was established as a corporation wholly owned by the government of Samoa under the Electricity Act of 1972 and was responsible for managing Samoa’s electricity sector. The Electricity Act of 1972 was later reformed first in 1980, and then with additional amendments in 1984, 1986, 1989, 1992 and 1993. The current Electricity Act of 2010 repeals major parts of the 1972 Act.
1.2 Reforms and Legal Implications
The implementation of the Electricity Act 2010 resulted in two major reforms in the electricity sector. First was the introduction of competition to the electricity market by allowing private licensees also known as Independent Power Producers (‘IPPs’) to generate electricity and provide electricity services in Samoa, and second the establishment of the Office of the Regulator as regulator of the electricity sector in August 2011.
In accordance with the provisions of the Act, the OOTR has amongst other major functions, the responsibility for issuing licences for IPPs and setting and reviewing all electricity tariffs.
1.3 Tariff Setting and Review
Pursuant to Part IV Sections 19, 20 and 21 of the Electricity Act 2010 the OOTR is responsible for setting, changing and reviewing all tariffs charged by electricity licensees in Samoa. To date, the OOTR has been reviewing and approving monthly ‘fuel surcharge adjustments’ based on monthly fuel cost movements, particularly for the one leading network service licensee in Samoa - EPC. This process is an ongoing function of OOTR pursuant to Part IV Section 20 of the Act.
1.3.1 Base Tariff
On 17 July 2012, OOTR received a proposal from EPC for a 3.6% reduction in base tariff, 2% discount on all cash power purchases and 27.24% fuel surcharge. On 23 July 2012, the Regulator issued Order No 2012/E04 approving this proposal which became effective from 1 August 2012. The following table shows the approved tariff and its components.