The Electricity Sector of the Public Utilities Commission was formed by “the Commission” in order to focus on regulation of ALL Entities that are licensed under the Belize Electricity Act. These entities as of August 2013 consisted of:
- The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), the company with a license to generate and supply, transmit and distribute power and energy throughout Belize;
- Other Generation Licensees in Belize who supply power and associated energy to the BEL National Grid System, namely, Hydro Maya Limited (hydro facility), BELCOGEN Limited (using bagasse fuel) and BAPCOL (using No. 6 HFO fuel oil).
Other potential entities for inclusion under the regulatory umbrella of the Electricity Sector include Generation Licensee BECOL (hydro facility), Famer’s light Plant (FPL) Limited (generation and distribution provider) and other small self-generators with size generation of above 75 KW. These entities will be licensed and subsequently regulated by “the Commission” within the next 5 years.
“The Commission” uses the analytic capability of the staff of the Electricity Sector together with Government of Belize enacted legislature to regulate the entities as described above. The main legislative instruments used are as follows:
- The PUC Act;
- The Electricity Act;
- Subsidiary legislature on Tariffs, Fees and Charges.
- Licenses issued to entities involved in generation, transmission and distribution of power and energy;
- Other subsidiary legislation such as Orders, Statutory Instruments and Byelaws used by “the Commission” to give effect to new tariffs and other legal conditions to be followed by licensees.
Major activities undertaken by the Electricity Sector include the following:
- Review of Tariffs for the national licensee the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), every 4 years (Full Tariff Review (FTR) and every year (Annual Review (AR);
- Licensees compliance Audits;
- Reliability and efficiency review for licensees;
Review continuously and update and approve codes of practices for licensees. For BEL this includes the review of their Generation Code, their Transmission Grid Code, their Payment of Bills Code and their Supply (Distribution) Code.
“The Commission” with its mandate to ensure there is competition in Generation has also delegated this responsibility to the Electricity Sector, and therefore from time to time the need arises for the preparation and management of Generation Request for Proposals (RFPs) by the Sector, whereby eligible entities are invited to add new generation to the BEL national power system on a competitive basis.
Other activities of the Electricity Sector, related to the regulation of licensed entities include:
- Power Quality Audits;
- Power System Engineering analysis;
- Review and commentary on licensees least cost expansion plans;
- Review of Cost and Tariff structures for the sale of electricity in Belize.
The Electricity Sector was also tasked by the Commission to manage the wiring and wireman industry in Belize. This includes the setting of appropriate wiring standards for the country of Belize (National Electric Code of USA is present being used); the management (testing, issuing and renewing wireman licenses) of the licensing process for wiremen in Belize; the review and approval of wiring design submissions made by PUC licensed electricians for various facilities; the inspection and approval of physical wiring in homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities when completed by licensed wiremen.
As of August 2013, the Electricity Sector was staffed by a Director of Electricity, 2 Electrical Engineers and a Clerk/Secretary, all of whom have considerable experience in the Electricity Sector in Belize.