The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has withdrawn a draft consultation paper published in April that was met with public outrage.
The draft paper was titled Rules for Registration of Small-Scale Embedded Generation and would have seen anybody generating less than 1MW of power having to register their generator with Nersa.
Many customers believed this was Nersa’s way of drawing more tax from South Africans, but Nersa executive manager of electricity regulation Mbulelo Ncetezo told the SABC that the draft was created for planning purposes.
“By having these [generators] registered we’ll know the future [energy] demand for the country which means we won’t be overbuilding to a point where we have excess capacity,” Ncetezo explained.
The Nersa manager went on to say that the paper is being withdrawn by both Nersa and the Department of Energy so that it can be amended.
“We are not abandoning the fact that people should register, we are putting it on hold because we have to do it based on a government notice,” Ncetezo said.
So it appears as if South Africans may still find themselves needing to register their generators but the details surrounding that are now very much up in the air.
In light of the withdrawal, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) called on the Department of Energy to draft regulations with customers in mind.
“Outa calls on the Department of Energy to draft its amended regulations in such a manner that reduces Government’s interference and encourages the promotion of the rights and processes of self-sufficiency in small-scale energy generation,” the organisation said in a statement.
For now, keep your eyes peeled for the publishing of any government notices about small-scale embedded generation.