Policy, Legal, Regulatory


The Energy Regulation Act (1995, amended 2003) establishes the Energy Regulation Board and defines its functions and powers. It also provides for the licensing of undertakings for the production of energy or the production or handling of certain fuels.

The Electricity Act (1995, amended 2003) provides the overarching legal framework for the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity in Zambia, and opened the sector to private actors. The Act includes the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations and the Electricity (Supply) Regulations.

The Rural Electrification Act (2003) establishes the Rural Electrification Authority and defines its functions. It also establishes the Rural Electrification Fund and provides for matters connected with or incidental to the Fund.

The Environmental Management Act (2011) establishes the Zambia Environmental Management Agency and defines its functions. Among other areas, it provides the legislation for integrated environmental management and the protection and conservation of the environment, and the sustainable management and use of natural resources.

The Water Resources Management Act (2011) establishes the Water Resources Management Authority and defines its functions and powers. The Act defines water uses, the activities that require a water permit, and the application procedure for the permit.

The Lands Act (2015) provides for the continuation of leaseholds and leasehold tenure, the continued vesting of land by the President and alienation of land by the President, and the conversion of customary tenure into leasehold tenure.

The National Heritage Conservation Commission Act (1989) establishes the National Heritage Conservation Commission and defines its functions and powers. The Act provides for the conservation of ancient, cultural and natural heritage, relics and other objects of aesthetic, historical, prehistorical, archaeological or scientific interest, and for the regulation of archaeological excavations and export of relics.

Regulatory Framework for Mini-Grids

In October 2018 the Energy Regulation Board approved a regulatory framework for mini-grids in Zambia, which was developed in consultation with key stakeholders including government, private sector, civil society and development partners.

This framework is being road tested, and may be adjusted in line with learnings from, among others, projects implemented by the Rural Electrification Authority, before the regulations are gazetted.

The framework comprises the following documents:

  1. Executive Summary of the Licensing and Regulatory Framework;
  2. Standard Licence to Generate, Distribute and Supply Electricity for a Mini-Grid Electricity System;
  3. Rule on Tariffs Applicable to Mini-Grids in Zambia; and
  4. Technical Requirements for Mini-Grids in Zambia.

In March 2019, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) held a workshop on the regulatory framework for mini-grids, as well as demonstration projects to be implemented by REA. The following presentations were given at the workshop:

  1. ERB Mini-grid Regulations: Licensing, Technical and Tariff - Opening
  2. ERB Approved Mini-grid Regulatory Framework: Licensing
  3. ERB Mini-grid Regulations: Licensing, Technical and Tariff
  4. Regulatory Framework for Mini-grid electrification in Zambia: Implementation of the Rule on Tariffs Applicable to Mini-Grids
  5. Regulatory Framework for Mini-grid electrification in Zambia (Technical Requirements): Capacity building Workshop on Mini-Grid Regulations
  6. IAEREP: Capacity Building for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency – Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects in Zambia
  7. ERB Mini-grid Regulations: Licensing, Technical and Tariff- Conclusion and Way Forward

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) provided clarifications on the Mini-Grid Regulatory Framework as follows:

  1. Responses by the ERB to specific aspects raised in an open letter by mini-grid industry representatives; and
  2. Panel discussion: Practical Capacity Building Workshop of 6th March 2019 held by ERB and supported by the European Union (EU) Increased Access to Electricity and Renewable Energy Production (IAEREP) team.

Other Regulations

The Environmental Protection and Pollution Control (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (1997) provide the legal framework for the process that developers need to follow to obtain environmental clearance from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency.

The Environmental Management (Licensing) Regulations (2013) provide the legal framework for environmental protection including air quality control, waste management, and management of other substances that are harmful to the environment, such as pesticides and ozone-depleting substances.

The Water Resources Management (Charges and Fees) Regulations (2018) set out the charges and fees for activities requiring the use of water.

Policy Papers

The National Energy Policy sets out the Zambian Government’s intentions of ensuring that the energy sector’s potential to drive economic growth and reduce poverty is harnessed. It is a guide to policy makers, decision-makers and development managers in the public sector, private sector, non-governmental organisations and civil society on the government's intended actions in the energy sector.

The revised National Water Policy provides a comprehensive framework for sustainable development, management and utilisation of water resources. It embraces modern principles of water resource management and endeavours to deal with the challenges of poverty reduction. In addition, the policy aims to create an enabling environment by providing a clearly defined framework covering all stakeholders.

The National Policy on Environment is designed to create a comprehensive framework for effective natural resource utilization and environmental conservation that is sensitive to the demands of sustainable development.

The Seventh National Development Plan for 2017 to 2021 aims at attaining Zambia's long-term objective, as outlined in Vision 2030, of becoming a "prosperous middle-income country by 2030." The integrated approach recognizes the multi-faceted and interlinked nature of sustainable development that calls for interventions to be tackled simultaneously through a coordinated approach. 

Templates and Guidelines

Energy Regulation Board

This application form must be submitted to the Energy Regulation Board when applying for an investment endorsement.

This document informs and guides prospective developers regarding the procedural requirements for applying for an investment endorsement. It details all the information the developer must include in the investment endorsement application.

This document is a flowchart of the procedure for approval of projects. It contains the procedures for issuance of an investment endorsement, including the steps followed by the Energy Regulation Board.

This document provides an outline of the business plan that must be submitted together with the investment endorsement application and the application for a licence for the generation,transmission, distribution and supply of electricity. It details what must be included in the business plan.

This form must be submitted to the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) when applying for a a Combined Licence for the Generation / Transmission / Distribution/ Supply of Electricity. 

This checklist provided by the ERB, contains the supporting documents developers must submit together with the application for a Licence for the Generation/ Transmission/ Distribution/ Supply of Electricity.

This checklist, provided by the Energy Regulation Board, sets out the supporting documents developers must submit together with the application for a licence to manufacture, wholesale, import and install solar energy systems.

This document details the procedures for determining tariffs for electricity services regulated by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB). It explains ERB’s administrative process for a tariff review for utilities in the electricity supply industry and details how tariffs for various retail customer categories are determined.

This document details the process that all importers of solar equipment must follow in order to obtain a licence. The document describes the revised licensing regime for solar importers and dealers and details the steps for issuance of the licence.

The Distribution Code is designed to provide clear procedures for both planning and operational purposes to ensure efficient development, operation and maintenance of a coordinated and economical distribution system, and also to promote the integration of renewable energy technologies.

The Power Quality Management Framework focuses on a long-term mechanism to continuously monitor the power quality performance of the Zambian grid and its improvement over time. The Zambia Power Quality Management System provides a framework for implementation of the Power Quality Directive and sets out the rights and responsibilities of all stakeholders (the licensees, customers and equipment suppliers) in the electricity supply industry.

Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA)

This template, issued by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency, provides guidance for preparing  and submitting a scoping report.

This template, issued by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency, provides guidance for preparing and submitting an Environmental Project Brief.  

This template, issued by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency, provides guidance for preparing and submitting an Environmental Impact Statement. 

This document, issued by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency, provides a template for preparing and submitting a terms of references document.  

Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA)

This application for the tertiary use of public water (industrial and mechanical purposes, or for the generation of power) must be submitted to the Water  Resources Management Authority when applying for a licence for the use of public water for the generation of power.



This report describes the potential for off-grid solar solutions in Zambia, including the country and market context and opportunities for off-grid solar solutions. It also reviews the regulatory and operational considerations for potential developers and investors in the market.

The Energy Regulation Board publishes the Energy Sector Report annually. It highlights the various interventions implemented throughout the year and gives an overview of the challenges experienced and the opportunities going forward.

This document provides an overview of Zambia’s energy sector, including information on the investment opportunities and data on the demand for the most important energy sources in the country.

Importantly, the document includes an overview of the fiscal and non-fiscal incentives available in Zambia for investments in electricity generation.

In 2009, the Rural Electrification Authority developed the Rural Electrification Master Plan for the period 2008 to 2030. The plan identifies 1,217 un-electrified Rural Growth Centres to be electrified through grid extension, standalone solar systems and mini-grids by 2030, to achieve 51% rural electricity access.

The Ministry of Energy's annually-published Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff Strategy aims to increase national generation capacity through private sector investment in small- and medium-size renewable energy plants of up to 20 MW.

This report provides a holistic evaluation of Zambia’s conditions and identifies the actions needed to overcome barriers to renewable energy deployment.

This presentation provides an overview of the renewable energy sector in Zambia, the legislative framework, and the licencing process for renewable energy generation.

This guide provides potential investors with an overview of the investment environment and opportunities in Zambia.

The National Energy Policy (1994, revised 2008) sets the scene for the liberalisation of the electricity sector and specifies measures to improve electricity access through:
  1. Enacting legislation for public and private sector investment and participation;
  2. Applying viability gap funding mechanisms; and
  3. Enabling isolated grid systems with cost-reflective tariffs.

The Power System Development Master Plan for Zambia is a comprehensive sector planning document for the period up to 2030.

Events and Training


Enel Foundation Open Africa Power 2020 Call for Applications, for the third edition of the flagship training initiative.