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E.P.C. appeals for fixed rate on "licensing fees"

The Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.) is appealing to Cabinet to set a fixed rate on “licensing fees” paid to the Office of the Regulator.

EPC General Manager, Tologatā Tile Tuimaleali’ifano, told the Samoa Observer during an interview that under the Electricity Fees Regulations the E.P.C.’s licensing fees are just 0.5 per cent of the gross revenue they collect. 

“It was in 2017 when we first paid licensing fees $691,500 and the following year was about $800,000 plus, if I recall clearly," he said.  

“These costs are passed on to the consumers and it just does not make any logical sense, when we are a Government entity paying another Government entity to regulate our services."

The General Manager further stated that under the Electricity Act 2010, Section 54 allows for the Head of State to set Regulations for license fees for the electricity sector and the E.P.C. is contemplating seeking Cabinet endorsement to amend the licensing fees. 

“I have already addressed this issue with the E.P.C. Board and the Minister, and it is only logical to request for a fixed rate,” said Tologatala. 

Regulator, Lefaoali’i Unutoa Auelua-Fonoti, had told this newspaper earlier that the license fees were passed through cost which was outlined in the annual review of the electricity tariff. 

“To clarify the impact of the license fees on the tariff (usage charge) is insignificant and has not caused an alarming change in the overall tariff as purported.” 

The regulation sets out the fees charged by the Office of the Regulator as per the Act. 

“Same applications of license fees are applied to other Regulated Services like Telecommunications and Broadcasting as per requirements of their respective Acts.” 

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