Newsletter 2019/2

 

ERRA Member Portrait: Azerbaijan Energy Regulatory Agency


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ERRA Member News

 


     Albanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ERE)

Recent Developments:
  • Regarding renewable energy the Guideline of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy no.3 dated 20.06.2019 “On approving a facilitated procedure for the authorizations regarding the distribution system of the small renewable projects for the energy self-producers from solar” as well as the acts to approve and amend its implementation for net metering in case of renewable energy.
  • Approval of Council of Minister Decisions to establish the Albanian Power Exchange, the legal amendments to organize the electricity market as well as the process of approving the licensing regulation and the license conditions above all even for the market operator “the Albanian Power Exchange”.
  • It is continuing the process for the market coupling projects Albania –Italy –Montenegro – Serbia and Albania – Kosovo.
  • Market Testing Guideline for Trans-Adriatic-Pipeline TAP AG was approved.
  • New Rules on defining standard criteria of supply service quality of natural gas.
Internal Projects:
  • Our Officers of the Legal and Tariffs and Prices Department attended the Summer School on the regulation of Energy Utilities 2019 (FSR), that took place from the 23rd till 29th of June 2019 in Firenze (Italy);
  • From 16th till the 20th of July 2019, 4 Officers of our Finance Department attended a Public Procurement Training in Albanian Language in Tirana (Albania);
  • New internal flow work management system were set.
  • Since 1st July 2019 ERE Albania has a new Organization Structure, with new functional Directories and new staff.
Significant Energy News:

ERE Albania and EMRA Turkey started a new collaboration the 12th July 2019


     Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC), Armenia

Recent Developments:
  • From July 1, 2019, new tariffs for RES power plants came into effect. As a result of revision of tariffs taking into consideration changes related to inflation and exchange rate of the Armenian Dram, new tariffs for small hydro power plants, as well as for wind, solar and biomass power plants that received licenses before 02.11.2019 increased by 1.7% compared to tariffs that came into effect on July 1, 2018; while tariffs for electricity supplied by wind and solar power plants licensed after 02.11.2019 increased by 1.5%.
  • By PSRC RA Decree No. 157Н and No. 158Н as of 29․05․2019, methodologies for calculation of the revenue requirement tariff margin were approved and came into effect for the closed joint-stock company “Power Networks of Armenia”, which were functionally unbundled – distribution and supply of electricity. Division of the said methodologies was dictated by the requirement of Law of the Republic of Armenia On Making Changes and Amendments in the Law of the Republic of Armenia on Energy No. 100-Н related to issuance of separate licensed for electricity distribution and supply by the closed joint-stock company “Armenian Power Networks”.
  • Decree of the PSRC RA No. 39Н as of 27․02․2019, which came into effect on 02․04․2019, set the procedure for disposal, transfer or pledge of assets, as well as for disposal of essential assets needed to carry out the core licensed activities of the license holder.
  • PSRC RA Decree No. 318H, as of 25․08․2019, “On making changes and amendments in the procedure for licensing of types of activities in the sphere of energy, with respect to which, for the purpose of optimal use of local energy resources and renewable energy sources, the Commission set timeframes for construction of power plants (by types) and conditions for extending them. Pursuant to the recommendation of the Ministry of Territorial Development and Infrastructures, the PSRC intends to increase the limit for granting licenses for construction of solar power plants by 100 MW.  This decision would contribute to development of that part of the energy sector and to increase of investments.
Internal Projects:
  • In April and May, the PSRC representatives took part in meetings of the working groups on electricity and gas of the Energy Community.
  • In the framework of NARUC programs, in May, representatives of the PSRC took part in a workshop on the Regional Balancing Market Integration Project in the framework of the Black Sea Regional Project, Phase II.
  • In addition, representatives of the PSRC took part in the workshop devoted to institution-building in the EU in connection with technical assistance and information exchanges (TAIEX) and TWINNING instruments in May.
  • In June, representatives of the PSRC took part in such political fora as “Efficiency in Industry” and “Long-term Energy Planning”.
  • In September, the PSRC organized a three-day workshop for civil society organizations and journalists who cover such spheres as economy and regulation of public services.
Significant Energy News:

By the Decree of the PSRC RA No.  342А, as of 11․09․2019, and taking into consideration the positions of the Ministry of Territorial Development and Infrastructures, Ministry of Economy and the National Security Service, the Commission gave consent to the shareholder of the closed joint-stock company “International Energy Company” – the open joint-stock company “Hydroinvest” – for selling 90% of shares to the open JSC “Razdan Energy Organization” (RazTPP)”․


  
  
Bhutan Electricity Authority (BEA)

Recent Developments:
  • We have introduced Guidelines for Filling Tariff Application, 2019 and these guidelines was used intensively for reviewing the tariff application (generation and end user price) for the tariff cycle 2019 to 2021 submitted by the licensees for approval.
  • A guideline was developed with the help of the ERRA sponsored consultant called “Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) Guidelines, 2018” (This guideline will help BEA to establish the true and efficient RAB of the utilities regulated by the BEA and thereby determine a fair tariff).
Internal Projects:
  • Organizational Development exercise was conducted mainly to reposition BEA according to its roles and responsibilities, challenges, and HR development.
  • Workshop on Organizational leadership and professional development in 2018.
Significant Energy News:
  • 720MW, Mangdechhu Hydropower Project Authority (MHPA) has successfully test run its two (2) turbines from four (4) turbines and schedule to fully operationalize by July 2019.
  • Completed and test charged 400kV (double circuit) transmission line from MHPA till Bhutan-India border.

 

State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC), Bosnia and Herzegovina

Recent Developments:
  • Tariff for transmission services remained unchanged

The tariff for electricity transmission services remained unchanged after a decision of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SERC) of May 2019 extending the validity of the previous decision determining the level of this tariff.

Internal Projects:
  • USAID Energy Investment Activity closed

The USAID Energy Investment Activity (EIA) Project was officially closed in September 2019. The project was focused on cooperation with and support to all key stakeholders in the energy sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) in the accession process and integration into the European Union (ministries, regulators, companies etc.) and contributed to the BIH’s meeting its Energy Community Treaty obligations. Representatives of the State Regulatory Commission followed activities organised under the Project and contributed to the results achieved in facilitating investments and integration of renewables as well as in the field of energy efficiency, business processes of distribution system operators and data exchange in the sector, public relations and the development of the electricity price comparison tool. All the documents and reports developed in the course of EIA project are available at the EIA web page: www.usaideia.ba.

  • Other internal projects

SERC staff participated in a number of trainings and workshops organised by different organisations including, inter alia:

  • USAID-NARUC Cybersecurity Workshop, Warsaw, Poland, 8-11 April 2019
  • Energy Community Regulatory School Training – Electricity System Adequacy and Capacity Mechanisms, Vienna, Austria, 14 May 2019
  • Joint ECRB-CEER-Eastern Partnership Workshop for Energy Regulatory Bodies – Digitalisation in the energy system, Minsk, Belarus, 21 – 22 May 2019
  • IRENA’s Regional Workshop on Renewable Energy Benefits: Can South East Europe realise the full potential of the Energy Transition, Sarajevo, BIH, 11-12 June 2019
  • Joint MEDREG – ECRB Workshop on Future of Net-Metering and Renewable Energy Support Auction Mechanism in the MEDREG and ECRB Regions, Tirana, Albania, 18 June 2019
  • Second Trilateral CEER-ECRB-MEDREG Workshop on Consumer Involvement and Retail Market Opening, Brussels, Belgium, 25 June 2019
  • Second Workshop on the Study on Cybersecurity in the Energy Community, Vienna, Austria, 17 September 2019
Significant Energy News:
  • Fifth Energy Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Fifth Energy Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina was held from 16 to 18 April 2019 in Neum, BIH, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BIH and the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Regulatory Commission for Energy in Federation BIH and the Regulatory Commission for Energy of Republika Srpska. Organisers of the Summit were USAID Energy Investment Activity Project (EIA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through ‘Promotion of Renewable Energy in BIH’ and ‘Promotion of Energy Efficiency in BIH’ projects and British Embassy Sarajevo.

The driving topic of the Fifth Energy Summit was the transition of the energy sector in BIH. The representatives of government institutions, regulators, international organisations, potential investors and experts, discussed the key topics of the energy sector development: the reform of support schemes for renewable energy, biomass potentials, electricity market, energy efficiency, the perspective of the gas sector, and the role of the media and public in achieving a successful transition of the energy sector.


 

Regulatory Commission for Energy in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FERK)

Recent Developments:
  • Construction of Unit 7 in TPP Tuzla (company JP Elektroprivreda BIH) is pending due to opposition of Energy Community (decarbonistaion process) and BIH governmental deadlock. Parliament has approved the construction, however, BIH Council of Ministries still has not given its final approval.
  • Aluminij Mostar, the biggest customer on BIH wholsale market has stopped its business on July 10th, 2019.
  • Wind Power Plant “Jelovača”, municipality of Tomislavgrad, company F.L. WIND d.o.o. Tomislavgrad installed capacity 36 MW, estimated annual generation 110 GWh (18 wind generators) has been awarded with generation licence on 10 September, 2019.
Internal Projects:
  • The Energy Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina is organized for the fifth time by USAID-EIA under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, Regulatory Commission for Energy in the Federation BIH and Republika Srpska Energy Regulatory Commission. It has been held in Neum on 16-18, April 2019. The goal of the Summit is to gather all players in the energy sector to discuss the most important topics in the field of energy, such as investments in the energy sector, the functioning of the retail electricity market and integration of the BiH market into the regional market. The Summit also features technical sessions that deal with popular topics.
  • FERK staff has participated in ERRA organised committee meetings, communication officers’ meeting and ERRA Investment Conference.

 

Energy Regulatory Office (ERO), Czech Republic

Recent Developments:
  • On August 1st 2019 on the proposal of the Minister of Industry and Trade the Government of the Czech Republic newly appointed Mr. Stanislav Trávníček, Ms. Martina Krčová and Mr. Petr Kusý new members of the five-member Board that is the heading body of the Energy Regulatory Office. Mr. Stanislav Trávníček was also designated the Chairman of the Board.

 

  • The number of consumer’s submissions to ERO increased by 10% in the 1st half of the year. These submissions include complaints, inquiries and requests for information. The detailed division of these submissions is indicated in the graph. The biggest increase was identified in auctions and other forms of sales mediation. As the Czech Energy Act does not provide for these forms of energy trade yet, it is one of the priorities of ERO to cooperate on preparation of amendments of the Energy Act and to include these new forms of energy trades into regulated field.

 

  • In September ERO started process of public consultation on proposal of Principles of Price Regulation for the 5th Regulatory Period. These principles define the rules which the whole energy sector must obey from 2021 until 2025, and so the document containing these principles is considered to be one of the most important ones for both regulated subjects and for consumers. This time the consultation process will proceed in 2 rounds. Even though the published objections will not be settled between the rounds, it will enable to aim the discussion to the contentious issues effectively.
Internal Projects:
  • ERO and CEER organized together the Roundtable on Digitalization for industry professionals (including electricity TSO ČEPS and DSOs) and consumer organization representatives. The discussion was based on the CEER Paper Dynamic Regulation to Enable Digitalisation of the Energy System. It considers the changes that may be needed to empower and unlock the benefits of digitalisation for consumers and to protect them.

 

  • Group of students of Energy Policy Studies at Masaryk University in Brno visited premises of ERO. Representatives of the office introduced activities of ERO related to International Relations, Integration Projects, Pricing and Research and Development. The interaction with interested subjects and new trends in energy sector were the most interesting topics for the students.
Significant Energy News:
  • During May Roundtable with the Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček, the Director of the Czech Trade Inspection and members of the Board of ERO, energy suppliers committed themselves to adhering to new rules that will contribute to further cultivation of energy sales in the Czech Republic. This was confirmed by signing of the Declaration of electricity and gas market participants to protect consumers. The content of the declaration can be summarized in three key areas: transparent communication with the customer, clear and fair terms of the contractual relationship and control and regulation of the functioning of energy sales intermediaries. As a result, the customers should be sure that what they learn from the energy supplier when closing a contract, that will be valid throughout its whole duration, simplify the withdrawal process, and reduce the potential for problems.

 

  • The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition by E.ON of Innogy’s distribution and consumer solutions business as well as certain of its electricity generation assets. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by E.ON. Following its in-depth investigation, the Commission had concerns that the transaction would have significantly reduced competition in the Czech market for the retail supply of gas (to all customers) and electricity (to households and small businesses). The merger would remove the effective competitive constraint that they currently exert on each other. To address the Commission’s competition concerns, E.ON offered the commitment to divest Innogy’s entire business in the retail supply of electricity and gas in the Czech Republic, including all assets and staff.

     Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission (GNERC)

Recent Developments:

Net metering gains momentum

On the basis of the regulations approved by the Commission, the use of green energy in the household sector is increasing. The total installed capacity of micro generation power plants embedded in net metering system exceeds 1 GW. As of today, 101 micro generation power plants are connected to the electricity networks of Telasi JSC and Energo-Pro Georgia JSC.

Net metering is one of the most popular directions of electricity generation by renewable sources. Customer or customers’ group is able to generate electricity for own consumption by solar, wind or water (including wastewater) energy. The installed capacity of micro generation power plant does not exceed 100 kW. Micro generation power plants may not be owned by customer(s) and may be temporary possessed by them in rent, leasing or other form.

New Regulations implemented at electricity Network Rules

3 new regulations were added to the electricity Network Rules approved by GNERC that will support establishing of common game rule and fair competition in the electricity sector of Georgia. This is the second time when the Commission provided full transposition of European regulations in the national legislation. The following regulations were implemented:

  • Regulation 2016/631/EC of 14 April 2016 establishing a network code on requirements for grid connection of generators;
  • Regulation 2016/1388/EC of 17 August 2016 establishing a Network Code on Demand Connection
  • Regulation 2016/1447/EC of 26 August 2016 establishing a network code on requirements for grid connection of high voltage direct current systems and direct current-connected power park modules.

Approval of European regulations was carried out pursuant to the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and the Protocol on the Accession of Georgia to the Treaty establishing the Energy Community. According to the new amendments, modern requirements were defined for new power plants, system operators (including for closed distribution systems) and demand response. Such regulations did not exist before in Georgian legislation. New standards will be valid from July 12, 2021 and apply only to new connections.

Internal Projects:

ERRA CRM Working Group meeting held in Georgia

GNERC hosted Customers and Retail Markets Working Group of Energy Regulators Regional Association (ERRA). The main topics of the meeting were consumer satisfaction surveys, quality of service, market monitoring, price comparison tools and supplier of last resort. The experts from European, American and Asian regulatory authorities participated in the meeting.

Significant Energy News:

Annual report of 2018 is published by GNERC

GNERC published the annual report of 2018. The report covers main activities of the Commission in electricity, natural gas and water supply sectors. The annual report is available on the following LINK.

“One Stop Shop Principle” for obtaining network construction permits

In collaboration with the GNERC, the Government of Georgia reflected the One Stop Shop Principle for obtaining network construction permits in its new Resolution N255 on Issuing Construction Permits and Rule and Conditions for Accepting Buildings in Exploitation resolution. As a result, utilities will not have to obtain permits from each state agency individually, for constructing the first class electricity, natural gas, water or sewage line. When the Municipality receives the application, it is obliged to verify its compliance and forward it to all other relevant state agencies in 5 working days. These other state agencies are obliged to make a decision in 15 days after the applicant [utility] submitted the application. Based on these decisions, the permit-issuing agency is obliged to confirm the possibility of construction works in working 20 days after the applicant submitted the application.

GNERC initiated the Unified Electronic Platform for Permits

The GNERC has also initiated the “Unified Electronic Platform for Permits”, in order to simplify the process of obtaining consents on crossing private properties, before applying for the construction permit. As a result, the utilities will be able to request consents on grid construction from each other and other network operators (like internet, mobile communications) using the unified electronic platform – www.my.gov.ge and send a request on a permit to the municipality afterwards. This change will greatly reduce construction time in practice and will also help utilities to save some costs related to construction permits. On the other hand, the municipalities also issue permits based on the “One Stop Shop Principle” (as explained above). The GNERC and the Data Exchange Agency plan to unite these two processes into the unified electronic platform.

GNERC is implementing the unified USSD service

The GNERC is implementing the unified USSD service for customers. For the last few years, utilities have been electronically sending key information to their customers and it includes electronic bills, information on power outages, individual termination of supply and its restoration, etc.  In order to increase awareness regarding their rights, customers will be offered one USSD number, which will cover information on services provided by the utilities in electricity, natural gas and water supply sectors. This service will enable consumers to receive information on their ongoing charges; power outages, their reasons and possible time of restoration; number of a call center; numbers and addresses of service centers. This service will encourage customers to send their updated contact information to utilities, thus making a complete and up-to-date database. The implementation of the USSD service will result in saving of significant costs related to human resources and printed bills.  The aforementioned process has already been agreed with all the regulated utilities and the mobile operators acting in Georgia. The USSD service is going to be fully implemented by the end of this year. 

 


     Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (HEA)

Recent Developments:

The Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (HEA) have announced the first call for tender to support electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

At this first “pilot” tender there are two categories based on the installed electric capacity:

  • 0,3 MW – 1 MW
  • 1 MW – 20 MW

In the first category the maximum volume is 66 GWh/year and the maximum support budget amounts to HUF 333 million/year. In the second category the maximum volume is 134 GWh/year and the support budget is HUF 667 million/year.

More information: http://www.mekh.hu/notice-of-the-announcement-of-the-metar-tender

Internal Projects:

The 19th General Assembly of WAREG (European Water Regulators) was held in Budapest in Budapest, hosted by the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority. The agenda contained the in-depth analysis on the tariff methods applied by WAREG Members and on the complete application of the full cost recovery principle in Europe. WAREG Members discussed this analysis at a roundtable with the World Bank and the OECD.

Significant Energy News:

Hungary’s largest solar power plant was launched in April 2019 in Bükkábrány. The plant’s installed capacity exceeds 22 MW and can generate up to 25 GWh electricity annually.

Tamás Tóth was appointed in March 2019 as new Vice-President of HEA for General Affairs.


 

State Agency for Fuel and Energy Complex Regulation at the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic

Internal Projects:

In the framework of implementation of the public contract on training of civil servants and municipal servants for year 2019, approved by Decree of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic as of June 24, 2019, No. 229-р, in August and September 2019, 7 public servants from the State Agency attended trained on the following topics:

  • “Efficient communications at the public and municipal service”;
  • “Development and implementation of public programs and projects”;
  • “Digital transformation in the public and municipal governance system of the Kyrgyz Republic”;
  • “Managing public procurement of goods, works and services”;
  • An advanced training course for persons newly admitted to positions that are classified as senior and junior groups of administrative public and municipal positions (the 1st group).
  • In addition, from April 1 to September 30, 2019, 4 public servants received donor-funded trainings on the following topics:
  • A forum on the energy security policy and on issues related to the methodology of energy-related subsidies and termination of such subsidies in mid-term perspective;
  • A workshop on country-specific program “Human resource management in the public sector”;
  • An outreach meeting “On approval of the Procedure for interaction of subjects of the system of legal assistance guaranteed by the state and of the list of documents evidencing the right of a person to receive qualified legal assistance”;
  • A workshop “Basics of rule-making”;
  •  A forum “Efficient use of energy in industry, long-term energy planning”;
  • A “Workshop on constructing and managing industrial parks and economic development zones”.
Significant Energy News:

For the purpose of improving the energy system that uses renewable energy sources, and creating better environment for investments, in July 2019, amendments were made in the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on Renewable Energy Sources (RES).  In particular, tax incentives were granted, and the grace period for projects on utilization of RES was extended from 8 to 10 years pursuant to amendments that were made.  During the specified grace period, RES facilities have the right to sell electricity using mark-up ratios that were revised and set in the amount of 1.3 irrespective of the type of RES.  In addition, the new law envisions that costs of distribution companies associated with purchase of RES electricity would be taken into consideration in the process of calculation and setting the national tariff for electricity for end-users; which fact would significantly facilitate activities in the energy sector.  It is necessary to note that prior to that these costs were compensated at the expense of energy companies.

Thus, it is expected that implementation of the new law would positively affect the process of attracting investments for the energy sector and development of renewable energy sources.


     National Energy Regulatory Council (NERC), Lithuania

Recent Developments:

NERC agreed Lithuania’s share of the investment of EUR 4.7 million in the project of common interest “Increasing Capacity of Gas Pipeline between Latvia and Lithuania”. The total value of the project is EUR 10.2 million. The amount of the investment agreed by NERC will be allocated for the improvement of the Lithuanian natural gas transmission system – increasing the capacity of the Kiemėnai natural gas measuring station and restructuring the gas pipeline in the territory of Panevėžys gas compressor station. Latvia’s share of the investment is aimed at adapting its natural gas system to 50 bar. The investment project will increase the maximum capacity in both countries to 125 GWh/day.

NERC completed investigation on natural gas market participants Geros dujos, UAB and Arontera, UAB and issued a resolution where it ruled that market participant Geros dujos, UAB selling transactions on the Lithuanian natural gas exchange constitute a breach of REMIT provisions. This is the first infringement of its kind ruled in Lithuania. Due to market manipulation and breach of REMIT provisions, NERC may initiate a sanction procedure and Geros dujos, UAB could be fined from 579 Eur to 10% annual revenue from the activity for which the breach was committed in the preceding financial year.

On 2 September 2019 the first technologically-neutral auction to promote the development of renewable energy was launched in Lithuania. All technologies – solar, wind, biogas, and biomass – can participate in the auction. The participants in the auction will compete for the opportunity of getting a price premium on the market price. NERC approved and published the composition for the Committee of the Evaluation of the Tenders of the Participants in the Auction, which is composed not only of the representatives of NERC but also of the representatives of other institutions: Ministry of Energy, Lithuanian Energy Agency, and Vilnius University. The quota of 0.3 TWh of electricity will be allocated during the auction.

NERC agreed to cost and benefit analysis results of smart metering project, which will be  implemented by distribution system operator Energijos skirstymo operatorius, AB from 2020. In the consecutive 4 years there will be in total installed about 1 million smart meters. At first, smart meters will be installed for those consumers consuming more than 1,000 kWh of electricity per year (in total 54% of consumers) and later after 2024 for all the rest of consumers. Due to investment, the distribution component will increase by EUR 0,05 ct per kWh, but final electricity bill for consumers is expected to decrease due to efficient use of electricity, dynamic pricing,  more efficient network management, and lower meters’ maintenance costs. The total value of the investment project is EUR 150 million.

In the second half of the year 2019 the natural gas tariffs for household consumers have not changed – they have been charged with the same tariffs as at the beginning of the year. Stability of the natural gas tariffs for household customers remains due to the forecasted lower price of natural gas import. Natural gas tariffs for household customers are recalculated twice a year. The detailed tariffs for household customers can be found here.

NERC has adjusted a revenue cap of EUR 36,073.93 thousand for natural gas transmission activity for Amber Grid, AB for the year 2020. The decline of Amber Grid, AB revenue by 17.87% was mainly due to the Company’s higher return on investments in 2014-2018 than NERC set – a total of EUR 9,359.33 thousand. This amount will be reimbursed to consumers at a lower natural gas transmission price in 2020. In 2018 the revenue level for Amber Grid, AB as for the natural gas transmission system operator has been set for the new 5-year regulatory period (2019-2023), which, according to NERC, may be adjusted to reflect changes in inflation rates, gas prices, taxes, the quantity of gas transmitted, investments confirmed by NERC, etc., but not more than once a year.

Unscheduled inspection of distribution system operator Energijos skirstymo operatorius, AB on reliability of electricity distribution and quality requirements has been finalized. The inspection has been performed for the period January 2012 – February 2018. NERC has found that operator provided incorrect information to regulator, which resulted in incorrect reliability and quality of service of electricity distribution (SAIDI and SAIFI). Accordingly, until March 2015, the company unjustifiably earned a higher return on investment (excess profit). Therefore, this amount will be refunded to consumers by reducing the level of distribution service revenue for operator for the year 2020. In the light of the outcome of the inspection NERC intends to improve the provisions governing the quality of electricity supply services in order to establish a system for the control and monitoring of data.

Internal Projects:

On 21–23 May, 2019 NERC in cooperation with the European Water Regulators Association (WAREG) hosted the 18th WAREG General Assembly events in Vilnius that were attended by the representatives of more than 20 regulatory entities established to execute regulatory functions related to water and (or) wastewater services. In the event regulators mainly focused on further consolidation of WAREG activities and voted in favour of the WAREG Action plan for 2020–2022 foreseeing the work priorities of WAREG and building a robust administrative and financial framework for WAREG to serve for the benefits of all WAREG members. Most of the fruitful discussions happened on one of the WAREG work priority, namely strengthening the independent functioning of regulators. The invited participants from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) presented their studies conducted on the governance of the sector regulators in energy, water, e-communications and transport in three main areas of independence, accountability and scope of action. The experience in consolidating and strengthening the regulator was shared by the representatives of Croatian, Kosovo, Irish, Lithuanian, Portuguese and Italian regulators.

On 5 July 2019, NERC in cooperation with the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) hosted CEER Incentives Regulation and Efficiency Benchmarking (IRB) Work stream meeting. NERC’s representatives shared their best practices when performing the supervision of regulated companies, setting and approving State regulated prices. Participants discussed about the CEER‘s performed pan-European TSOs cost efficiency benchmark study – the participants of the meeting exchanged the views about the results of the study and way forward on how to better improve the methods for the future benchmarks.

On 23 May 2019 a cooperation agreement was signed between the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) and NERC on the exchange of good practices and information on water management in both countries. Scottish water regulator invited NERC staff in September 2019 to participate in a meeting in Stirling where they shared experiences in regulating the drinking water sector, introduced pricing principles, benchmarking and other relevant information.

Significant Energy News:

National Energy Regulatory Council (NERC), as a consolidated institution, following the process when the State Energy Inspectorate under the Ministry of Energy has been reorganised by way of merger and joined to the National Commission for Energy Control and Prices, started its activities from 1 July 2019 and took over the economic and technical regulation and market supervision and control functions of energy market in the Republic of Lithuania. NERC now performs the following technical functions alongside economic market regulation: maintenance of energy facilities and installations; control of energy workers’ certification; testing of energy efficiency; and issuing certificates of energy equipment operation activities. Also a new function – to oversee and license the participants in wholesale and retail market of petroleum products – has been assigned to NERC since 1 July 2019. The institution issues the permissions or licenses to the companies operating in this sector, following the assessment of the financial, technological and managerial capacity of them. Current Chair and members of Board remain at their office till completion of their term. NERC website is www.vert.lt.

NERC approved the recast of the “Methodology for Setting State Regulated Prices in the Natural Gas Sector”. The amendments were approved after the recast of the Law on Energy and the Law on the Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal where the refinancing and redemption model of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal is implemented. Major changes in the methodology are the changed revenue cap for LNG regasification service and changes foreseen in LNG re-gasification service cost calculation after LNG floating unit buyout in 2024.

“Lietuvos energija” group, which until now has been performing energy production, distribution and supply activities  becomes “Ignitis” group. After changing the name the group intends to increase its revenue from abroad, expand its services abroad and create an energy-smart world. In addition, after becoming Ignitis, the company will offer new services to consumers. According to Darius Maikštėnas, the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Ignitis Group, the company’s decision to change the brand was due to a few main reasons. The first priority was to increase the efficiency of the group. The changes are also aimed at becoming more customer-friendly – from now on, customers will no longer receive all the energy services they need from several different companies, but from one company.


     Energy Agency of the Republic of Serbia (AERS)

Recent Developments:
  • On the session of July 15, 2019, in line with the Energy Law (Law) and AERS regulations, the Council of the Energy Agency of the Republic of Serbia (AERS) has adopted a Decision on revocation of the certificate issued to the Yugorosgaz-Transport d.o.o. Niš by the Agency Decision of June 20, 2017. Yugorosgaz-Transport d.o.o did not comply with the obligation to take all necessary actions in order to harmonise its organization and operation in a manner providing for the compliance with the conditions prescribed for the system operator according to the independent operator model until July 13, 2019.

 

  • On the session on August 15, 2019, in line with the Energy Law, AERS Decision on Exemption of New Natural Gas Interconnector and AERS regulations, the Council of the Energy Agency of the Republic of Serbia has adopted a Decision on Issuance of Certificate to Limited Liability Company GASTRANS d.o.o. as to Independent Natural Gas Transmission Operator with an obligation to submit occupancy permits or register ownership rights on natural gas transmission system facilities as well as to submit evidence on independent operation and transmission system operation of the constructed system in line with the AERS Decision on exemption within a 6-month timeframe since the beginning of operational work.

 

  • On the session held on August 15, 2019, the Council of the Energy Agency has approved the Rules on Publication of Key Market Data which were adopted by the Assembly of the Joint Stock Company “Elektromreža Srbije” Belgrade. Upon the publication of the Agency Decision in the “Official Gazette of Republic of Serbia”, the Rules are published on the website of the transmission system operator and they enter into force on the eighth day upon publication.

 

  • On the session held on 22/08/2019, the Council of the Energy Agency of the Republic of Serbia has adopted a decision on approval of Plan for Transfer of Metering Devices, Metering Switchboards, i.e. Connection Lines, Installation and Equipment in Metering Switchboards and Other Devices in Customers’, i.e. Producers’ Facilities connected to Distribution System for 2019-2020 which was adopted by the Distribution System Operator EPS Distribucija d.o.o.
Internal Projects:

Being the Co-Chairman of the Gas Regional Initiative (GRI) of the European Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) for the South and Southeastern Europe (SEE) region, the Energy Agency of the Republic of Serbia has been a host of the meeting on May 6-7 in Belgrade. During the meeting, the representatives of regulators, natural gas transporters, producers and traders from this region from the EU and from the Energy Community discussed several issues of common interest.


  Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA), Turkey

Recent Developments:

Other developments regarding Tariffs:

  • EMRA has shoot English videos to foreign investors for the description of Turkish tariff system  https://www.epdk.org.tr/Detay/Icerik/2-7883/enerji-piyasasi-duzenleme-kurumu-epdk-enerji-u
  • Electricity bills simplified to make consumers understand easier. With this decision, active energy price and distribution price merged together as energy consumption price. Detailed bills are still accessible by the consumers through websites of the retail companies and EMRA.
  • EU Project namely “Technical Assistance for Improvement of Performance-Based Tariff Regulation of EMRA for Turkish Energy Markets through Introducing an Enhanced Monitoring System” was initiated on 24/04/2019 with a kick off meeting. EMRA is the end beneficiary in this project.
Significant Energy News:

Considering the new pipeline projects as well as the rapidly increasing spot LNG trade in Turkey, utilization of spot pipeline gas as a strategic instrument for the cross-border trade is essential for improving the status of Turkey in international natural gas markets. Within this scope, “The Procedures and Principles on Determination of Spot Pipeline Import Methods and Quantities” was put into force in September, 2019. Along with the flexibility provided by the organized spot gas market, the increase in cross-border trade ensured by the new regulation will be beneficial for Turkey’s aim to be a regional natural gas trade center.


 

ERRA Past Activities

Month

Dates

Meetings

Trainings

Other Activities

April

15

General Assembly
(Skopje, North Macedonia)

 

 


15-16

ERRA Concurrent Meetings:
ERRA Chairmen
Licensing/ Competition Committee
Tariff/ Pricing Committee

 

 


April 28-
May 2

 


Tailor-made training: Water Utility Regulation
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

 

May

 

 

 

6-8

 


1st Educational Workshop: Gas Transmission Tariff Setting
(Budapest, Hungary)

 


13-15

 

 

Black Sea Regulatory Initiative/Technical Workshop: Regional Balancing Market Integration Project
(Budapest, Hungary)

June

17-18


ERRA CRM Working Group Meeting
(Tbilisi, Georgia)

 

 


19-21

 


1st Educational Workshop: RES Support Schemes: Auctions
(Budapest, Hungary)

 

July

1-6

 


17th ERRA Summer School: Introduction to Energy Regulation
(Budapest, Hungary)

 

September

2


Meeting of the ERRA Liaison Officers
(Budapest, Hungary)

 

 


2-4

 

Tailor-made Training for Oman Electricity Transmission Company
(Muscat, Oman)

 


10

 

 


Best Conference Abstracts Selected


23-24

18th ERRA Energy Investment and Regulation Conference
(Riga, Latvia)

 

 


25-26

ERRA Concurrent Meetings:
ERRA Chairmen
Licensing/ Competition Committee
Tariff/ Pricing Committee