Romania gets European gas and power law

Newsroom 17/07/2012 | 15:26

The country has transposed the European directives on a common electricity and natural gas market through a new law that was published in the Official Gazette on Monday, following a 2 year debate.

The law aims to make the electricity market more transparent and competitive, in the same time strengthening the energy regulator ANRE. In addition, prices in electricity and natural gas for electricity and gas will be deregulated by 2014 for industrial consumers and by 2017 in households. The law defines the vulnerable consumer and streamlines procedures for clients that what to change electricity suppliers.

“The new electricity law protects the vulnerable consumer, includes the last resort suppliers, as well as their functioning and allows public and transparent trading in electricity,” said Adrian Borotea, directorate member at Czech utility CEZ.

He added that companies will get 15 percent of their electricity at market prices starting this September and the deregulation processes will be finalized by the end of 2013. Households will have to pay more starting July 2013, when 10 percent of the electricity will come from the deregulated market through to 2017, when the process is finalized.

A new commission that sets up disputes will be set for players in the electricity market as an independent body within the energy regulator. Another provision separates the system operator from the owner and obliges the system and transport operator to develop a 10 year investment program for the grid.

The deregulation of energy prices has been requested by the IMF, which will return in Bucharest on July 31 to assess Romania’s progress in reforming state-owned enterprises and keeping the public finances in order.

Ovidiu Posirca

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