- Commenced on 28 December 2007
- [This is the version of this document as it was at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Electricity Act.
2. InterpretationIn this Act unless the context otherwise requires—"Authority" means the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority established under section 3 of the Energy Regulation Act.[Cap. 73:02]"case of emergency" with reference to a right of entry on or to land or premises conferred under this Act, means a case in which the person requiring entry to the land or premises in question has reasonable cause to believe that circumstances exist which are likely to endanger life or property, and that immediate entry to such land or premises is necessary to verify the existence of the circumstances or to ascertain the cause or to effect a remedy;"customer" means a person purchasing electricity;"consumer" means a person using electricity;"contract of supply" means a contract between the operator of an electricity undertaking and any other person for the supply of electricity to that person;"distribution" means the conveyance of electricity at less than 66,000 volts, or as may be prescribed by notice in the Gazette, from the transmission grid to customers through a distribution power system, and the terms "distribute" and "distributing" have corresponding meanings;"distributor" means a person distributing electricity;"distribution line" means any cable underground or overhead line for the distribution or reticulation of electricity from an electricity undertaking to a customer, together with any transformers, switchgear or other works necessary to, and used in connexion with, such cable underground or overhead line, and the buildings or such part thereof as may be required to accommodate transformers, switchgear and other works;"electricity" means electric energy generated from hydro, thermal, coal, diesel, oil, biomass, gas, photovoltaic, wind, nuclear and any other source as defined in Energy Laws;"electricity undertaking" means any installation works or services for the commercial generation, transmission, wheeling, distribution or supply of electricity which is owned or operated by a licensee, and 'electricity undertaker' bears a corresponding meaning;"energy laws" has the meaning ascribed thereto in the Energy Regulation Act;[Cap. 73:02]"generation" means the production of electricity for sale, and the terms ‘generate’ and ‘generating’ have corresponding meanings;"generator" means a person generating electricity;"generation station" means any station for generating electricity, including any building, plant and machinery used for the purpose and all accessories necessarily incidental thereto, together with the site thereof, and any site intended to be used for such a station;"interconnected system" means all high voltage electricity lines of 66,000 volts and above, or as may be prescribed by notice in the Gazette, including the related substations and associated equipment and generation stations to which they are connected and any distribution system connected thereto;"licensee" means a holder of a licence granted or deemed to be granted by the Authority under the Energy Regulation Act, for the generation, transmission, distribution, importation or exportation of electricity;[Cap. 73:02]"Load Dispatch Centre" means the Load Dispatch Centre referred to in sections 25 and 26."rural electrification" means grid or off-grid extension of distribution lines and installation of solar photovoltaic systems, generation of electricity from mini and micro-hydro whose internal rate of return is up to 6 per cent per annum and line capacity is less than 66 KV or generation capacity is up to 5 MW;"supply" means the sale of electricity to customers;"supplier" means a person supplying electricity;"transmission" means the conveyance of electricity at 66,000 volts or more, or as may be prescribed by notice published in the Gazette, from generators or import points to distributors or large customers or export point through a transmission power system, and the terms "transmit" and "transmitting" have corresponding meanings;"transmitter" means a person transmitting electricity.
Part II – Licences
3. Electricity supply activities to be carried on under licence
4. Licensees to hold only one type of licence
5. Application for licences
6. Mode and procedure of application for licence
7. Criteria for consideration of application for licence
8. Incomplete premises
9. Conditions of a licence
10. Amendment or revocation of licences
11. Breach of conditions of licenceIf a licensee fails to comply with his licence, the conditions on which it was granted or the provisions of this Act or the Energy Regulation Act, or modifies the purpose for which the licence was granted, or fails to commence or complete any works required in his licence, the Authority may serve him or her a notice in writing requiring him to comply within such reasonable period as the Authority may determine, and where the licensee fails to comply, the Authority may—
12. Duration and renewal of licences
13. Transfer of licence
14. Rural electrification licenseesThe Authority may, by notice published in the Gazette, prescribe special and less onerous licensing regulations in respect of applications for rural electrification.
15. Register of licencesThe Authority shall keep and maintain a public register of licences issued, including the following information—
Part III – Tariffs
16. Licensees to charge only approved tariffs
17. Public hearing before tariff revision
18. Criteria for granting or revising tariffs
Part IV – Transmission licensee, power sales and purchase contracts[This Part is not in force]
19. Only one transmission licence to be issuedThe Authority shall issue a transmission licence to only one transmission company for that transmission company to build, operate and maintain the transmission network in Malawi.
20. Duties and functions of transmission licenseeThe duties and functions of the transmission licensee shall be, inter alia,—
21. Power sales and purchase contracts
22. Import and export of power
23. Wheeling of powerThe wheeling of power through the Malawi transmission system shall be in accordance with the principles of the Southern Africa Power Pool.
24. Third party access
25. Load Dispatch CentreA transmission licensee shall own, manage and operate the Load Dispatch Centre which shall be responsible for coordination of generation, transmission, load dispatch and distribution in a non-discriminatory manner and at least cost in the interconnected system.
26. Functions and reports of the Load Dispatch Centre
Part V – Generation[This Part is not in force]
27. Requirements of the Load Dispatch CentreAll generators are required to comply with the requirements of the Load Dispatch Centre and shall deliver their generation to the centre for load dispatch.
28. Transmission or distribution licensee not to own a generation stationNo transmission licensee or distribution licensee shall be licensed to build, own or operate and maintain a generation station for sale of power whether for firm or standby purpose.
29. Competitive tender for new generation capacity
30. Generators to sell power to transmission licenseeAll generators shall sign power sale agreements with the transmission licensee for sale of their power at a price to be agreed between the parties but approved by the Authority.
Part VI – Distribution
31. Duties of distributorSubject to the terms and conditions of a licence issued in accordance with this Act and the Energy Regulation Act, every distributor shall supply electricity to every consumer who is in a position to make satisfactory arrangements for payment under a contract of supply with that operator.[Cap. 73:02]
32. Delays in supplyWhere a distributor unduly refuses to supply any applicant with electricity, the applicant may appeal to the Authority, which shall determine the conditions under which the distributor shall undertake such supply.
33. Standby supplyA consumer shall not be entitled to a standby supply of electricity from the distributor in respect of any premises unless that consumer has agreed to pay and has given security to pay, such minimum annual sum as shall give to the distributor a reasonable return (which return shall be determined by the Authority) on any capital expenditure and any other standing charges which may be incurred in meeting the maximum demand for the premises.
34. Customers’ installation testingA distributor shall test any installation of an applicant before a supply of electricity:Provided that the testing of such installation shall not render the operator liable in law for any damages or injury flowing from defective installations of applicants.
35. Interference with licensee’s systemA customer shall ensure that the operations of his or her system does not interfere with the smooth and safe operation of the licensee’s system to which he or she is connected.
Part VII – Inspection, accidents, inquiries and investigations
36. Entry and inspection of premisesThe Authority, or any person authorized by it in writing, may at all reasonable times enter any premises or any licensed activity for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the provisions, of this Act or the Energy Regulation Act, or the conditions of any licence are being complied with, or for the purpose of any inspection which is incidental to or connected with the carrying out of the duties of the licensee.[Cap. 73:02]
37. Licensee to report accidents
38. Inquiries and investigations
Part VIII – Rights over land
39. Wayleaves overland
40. Right of entry on land
41. Trees or buildings interfering with electricity supply and equipment
42. Breaking up of streets
43. Licensees’ equipment not part of the landAny lines, meters, fittings, works or apparatus belonging to a licensee and lawfully placed or installed in or upon any premises not in his possession shall, whether or not fixed to any part of such premises, remain the property of and may be removed by the licensee, and are not liable to be taken in execution under any process of law or any proceedings in insolvency or liquidation against the owner or occupier of such premises.
44. Compensation for damage caused by licensee
Part IX – Offences and penalties
46. PenaltiesAny person who is guilty of an offence under this Act shall be liable to a fine of K5,000,000 and to imprisonment for ten years.
Part X – Miscellaneous provision
47. Consumer and customer education brochureThe Authority shall develop and publish an information brochure and other modes of communication for consumer and customer education on the structure and price regulation or on technical, safety and legal aspects of the electricity supply industry.
48. Resolution of disputes by the Authority
49. Service of noticeAny notice or other document required or authorized to be given, delivered or served under this Act may be given, delivered or served—
50. Licensee may discontinue supply for non-payment, etc.
51. Right of appeal to the High Court
53. Repeal and savings
History of this document
28 December 2007
Cited documents 0
Documents citing this one 8
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- Malawi Government Gazette dated 2019-05-03 number 18
- Malawi Government Gazette dated 2019-06-14 number 23
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