Ecuador lawmakers approve power bill

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ecuador's national assembly has approved an electric energy public service bill, which will now be sent to President Rafael Correa for his signature.

With 88 out of 137 legislators voting in favor, the assembly – controlled by the ruling Alianza País party – approved the second and final debate of the bill, which was submitted by Correa earlier this year.

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The legislation aims to consolidate state control and regulate participation of public and private stakeholders as well as promote renewables and energy efficiency.

The bill, which will replace a law dating from 1996, establishes that the executive is responsible for drafting, defining and guiding public and service policies that guarantee constitutional rights, the assembly said in a statement.

The power and renewable energy ministry would oversee the sector with support from new regulator Arconel and market administrator Cenace, among other specialized agencies.

Public generators will have to allocate 30% of surplus once operations begin to local development projects. Private power producers must earmark 3% of earnings to workers and 12% to local development projects.

The initiative also looks to guarantee electrification programs for indigenous and rural communities.