PUCSL new Chairman assumes duties; launches its work plan for 2021

The Annual Activity Plan 2021 of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator was unveiled today. A total of 111 projects based on service quality and consumer rights protection in the power industry, water service industry and petroleum industry are to be implemented this year.

Projects related to the electricity industry have been formulated under four main objectives suCh as improve productivity and convenience for electricity consumers, supplying electricity at affordable prices to the consumer and maintaining a sustainable financial position for licensees, improve the safety of every living being and properties of the general public, licensees and operators, improve environmental conditions for humans, animals and plants. Four special projects will be implemented this year to expedite the resolution of electricity consumer complaints and disputes.

Under this, a joint program will be initiated with the Divisional Secretaries to solve the problems faced by the electricity consumers during the installation and replacement of electricity poles and cables. Addition to that, steps will be taken to solve the problems that have arisen in obtaining electricity for houses located in blockout lands from real estate companies. Also, a special project will be launched to maintain the efficiency of the street lighting system in the country by introducing a standard for the installation, operation and maintenance of street lighting systems.

In order to achieve the goal of electrical safety, the national framework for licensing electricians’ program is being implemented in collaboration with other relevant agencies. Around 45,000 electricians have been identified in the country and a project will be launched to provide them with the National Vocational Qualification or NVQ 3, the basic qualification required to obtain a permanent electricity license, quickly and free of charge. The project is being implemented under a special memorandum of understanding signed with the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission and the National Vocational Training Authority.

The PUCSL, as the shadow regulator of the lubricant market, assists the Ministry of Energy in regulating the lubricant market. The projects launched last year to control the sale of substandard lubricants and the sale of illegal lubricants will be further strengthened and implemented. A project is also underway to dispose of used lubricants in an environmentally friendly manner.

Also, a system will be introduced to protect the rights of petroleum consumers and to resolve their grievances.

The PUCSL as the designated body for the regulation of the water service industry in the country assists the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage Board in regulating the water services industry.

The Commission assists the Ministry of Water Supply to introduce a methodology for resolving water consumer complaints and disputes through a declaration of water consumer rights. Also, the second phase of a series of public consultations at the local level to identify the issues of water consumer will be launched this year.

The Parliamentary Council last week approved new members to the PUCSL naming Janaka Ratnayake as Chairman.