Access to reliable and affordable electricity is vital for businesses, and Rwanda is constantly working to ensure that new electricity consumers get their connection in the easiest way.
In an effort to ensure safety in the connection process while keeping connection costs reasonable, the government has worked to consolidate requirements for obtaining an electricity connection.
Getting electricity in Rwanda requires only four procedures, the first of which is to submit application to the Rwanda Energy Group’s utility company Energy Utility Corporation Limited (REG-EUCL), which will provide an estimate of the connection fees.
This requires the customer to fill out an application form and present it in person with a copy of the identification card at the utility. After the external inspection, the customer receives the estimate of the connection fees, which takes only eight days.
Subsequently, the customer pays the fee and arranges an appointment with technical experts from the utility. Usually, the technicians will be available to visit the property within 24 to 48 hours after payment. The customer then takes them to the property for an external inspection of the site.
The customer can purchase the material for the external connection himself or let the utility company provide it and pays for it later.
While REG-EUCL is in charge of the external connection, it outsources the works to private companies. The meter is installed at the same time. Electricity starts flowing immediately after the meter has been opened. This takes less than two weeks to complete.
Rwanda is targeting to generate at least 563MW of power by 2018, and increase access to electricity to about 80%. The country’s power generation capacity has increased to 190MW today from 110MW in 2013.
This has amplified the number of connected households to 24% and has significantly reduced load-shedding. Currently, the utility has enough power to supply all its consumers. The boost of power generation is an outcome of recently completed power projects including a 25 MW methane-gas-to-power plant by KivuWatt/Contour Global, an IPP project which commissioned the plant successfully in January 2016.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and the electricity bodies Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) and Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL), which fall under REG, are working tirelessly, in order to beat the 2018 target.