Tongatapu, Tonga, July, 2022 - The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) in collaboration with the Tonga Electricity Commission (TEC) successfully completed a 4-day bridging training aimed at preparing electrical technicians for the mandatory national electrical license exams.
Tongatapu has more than 15,000 electricity consumers, compared to 28 licensed electrical contractors. This training will certify a further 26 new electricians to support the electricity services market in Tonga and will ensure compliance with TEC certification and regulation.
The training is part of technical assistance provided by PCREEE to support trained students and electricians to get licensed and legally establish their electrical services business. This would then provide confidence to the Tonga public to start up their income generation activities and businesses using safe, secure and resilient electricity supply. PCREEE and TEC are hoping to increase the number of licensed contractors and businesses to spur competitive pricing and to improve the quality of services in the market and to build back stronger and better from COVID 19 and the volcanic eruption and tsunami that recently affected Tonga.
Annually, more than 100 certified electrical students graduate with Electricity Certificate Level 4 from the Tonga Institute of Science and Technology (TIST) and through technical vocation courses that will also benefit from this bridging course and ensure safe electrical support Tongan energy uses.
The training was opened by the Acting Director of the Energy Department, Mr ‘Ofa Sefana who urged the electricians to know more about the significance of their daily operations and to ensure their working environment is always safe. “We need to do our job better and safely, so the people won’t have any problem and contact us again and again for repairing the failed workmanship. This training is very important as the public can feel safe in their home”.
Mr. Kilimasi Maasi, the Acting CEO for TEC and Chair of the Office of the Pacific Energy Regulators Alliance (OPERA) reiterated the call for electrical entrepreneurs to ensure gender balance and safety. “Electrical work is an inclusive profession where both males and females can take it as a career, however, it is vital to ensure that electricians are registered and abide by its risk by following the safety electrical procedures”. Mr. Maasi also encouraged Tongan electricity consumers to ensure that they use only certified and licensed electrical technicians and contractors.
Workshop participant Ilaisaane Fituafe expressed her gratitude in having attended the bridging training. “The training is a great opportunity for me to gain more knowledge and skills on doing electrical work. The new knowledge I’ve gained from the training will contribute to my complying with the right measures and procedures of doing electrical work so that I can avoid risks”.
The bridging workshops will also be held in Eua (7th – 8th July and 11th – 12th July), Ha’apai – (19th – 22nd July) and Vava’u (26th – 29th July).
About TEC and the PCREEE
The Electricity Commission was established through the Electricity Act of 2007 with functions which include the licensing of electricians and establishing standards for electrical safety. The Commission is also tasked to enforce actions under this Act or any regulations made under the Act.
The PCREEE is a regional vehicle to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies in the Pacific Islands and is co-hosted by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Tonga Government at Nuku’alofa, Tonga. It is a collaboration between SPC, UNIDO, SIDS Dock, the Government of Tonga and the Government of Austria and Norway.
TEC Contact: Kilisimasi Ma’asi, Acting CEO, TEC – Phone: 23-021/ email@example.com
Solomone Fifita, Manager PCREEE – firstname.lastname@example.org
SPC Talei Tora, Communications Advisor +6799260502 email@example.com