ERB sets ‘quality standards

THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has developed a power quality management system (PQMS) to help electricity consumers and utility companies establish the cause of a fault in the event of damage to equipment due to overload on the system.
The regulator is also in the process of developing a power quality directive which will compel utilities to take control measures on their networks and periodically report on power quality performance to ERB.
Company executive director Langiwe Lungu said the PQMS will help utility companies such as Zesco Limited and Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to effectively monitor the quality of power in the system and make it easier to identify problem areas.
Ms Lungu said in an interview on Friday that the programme will enhance service delivery by the utility companies to their customers.
She said special recorders will be used to help both consumers and utility firms to monitor readings on the power networks.
“As ERB, we will be able to get the readings from the recorders, for instance, if someone has a compliant that their television got damaged, we will be able to determine whether it was the power quality that caused the fault or if it was something else,” she said.
Ms Lungu said the PQMS is a good deal as it guides utility companies to make adjustments and improve their services.
On the power quality directive, she said the initiative is still in the initial stages as the programme requires money to effectively produce good results.
Ms Lungu said ERB has been engaging Zesco Limited, CEC and Lunsemfwa Hydro- Power Company on the matter.
“We have actually spoken to the utility firms on the directive. There is need for investment and because there are costs involved, we have given the utility firms a time frame of one year from October this year to the same period next year,” she said.

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