ANRE wants to amend legislation so that large suppliers are obliged to deliver gas to consumers as a last resort

Redacția nov. 17, 2021 0 comentarii

The Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) wants to amend the legislation so that large suppliers are obliged to deliver gas to consumers as a last resort, so that there is no danger in gas supply, said Claudiu Dumbrăveanu, director of ANRE, on Wednesday, quoted by Agerpres.

According to him, in the last two weeks, 31,000 gas consumers have switched to the last resort regime after their suppliers stopped supplying them with gas.

By comparison, that’s ten times more than in the whole of last year.

“In this context, yesterday we put in public debate a document that changes the rules on last resort supply and we imposed a number of conditions, basically we increased the number of last resort suppliers from three to five, and the five must have a minimum 70% market share, price maintenance for one year, no price change for three months and other conditions. Until now, participation in the last resort market by suppliers has been on a voluntary basis, but under these conditions we will use the imposition,” Dumbraveanu told the Energy Focus conference.

He explained that ANRE has the right to impose public service obligations, both through European directives and by law, so as not to jeopardize the supply of consumers.

Asked if he is considering possible lawsuits that suppliers will bring against the regulator, since participation in this market was initially voluntary and now becomes mandatory, Dumbrăveanu replied, “They have no reason to sue us, because we have the right to do so, we are relaxed in this respect. We don’t restrict their costs, their revenues, we don’t impose any kind of price limit.”

When journalists reminded him that the price of supply of last resort is capped by law, Dumbrăveanu pointed out that this cap was not set by ANRE, but by Parliament.

“I do not comment on this, because the situation was not generated by ANRE. We did not agree with the imposition of price limits for FUI, it was our position in the parliamentary debates as well,” the ANRE official said.

Engie Romania notified the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) at the end of October about giving up the status of supplier of last resort, as of 15 December 2021.

According to a response from the company, delivered on Tuesday at the request of AGERPRES, the decision to give up was taken in view of the unprecedented evolution of natural gas prices and the context of uncertainty generated by the impossibility to predict in time the takeover of customers of these suppliers and to ensure for them the necessary quantities of gas.

In the space of just two weeks, Engie Romania has taken over around 20,000 customers from the portfolio of three suppliers who have relinquished their gas supply licenses.

“In addition to the operational effects of taking over these customers, the support scheme that recently came into force creates major financial imbalances for the company. The current capping mechanism provided for by Law 259/2021 does not ensure full recovery of Engie Romania’s real purchase costs because the average purchase price applicable in the period 1 April 2021 – 31 March 2022 is taken into account and not the market price at which we purchase gas,” say the company’s representatives.

They indicate that they understand the current difficult context and want to take a prudent and responsible approach that will ensure the continuity of gas supply to Engie Romania’s portfolio of 1.9 million customers.

“Engie Romania is in constant dialogue with the relevant authorities to find the best solutions for defining the conditions applicable to suppliers of last resort for all parties involved and for the benefit of customers,” the company’s response also states.

Earlier, also on Tuesday, representatives of the National Authority for Energy Regulation (ANRE) told AGERPRES that gas suppliers can no longer give up their licenses if they do not first solve the problem of their customers.

“ANRE has amended the licensing regulation so that suppliers who apply for voluntary withdrawal of their license must first solve the problem of their customers. This means they must notify them and give them time to contract with other suppliers. ANRE will only approve the request to withdraw the license if it is accompanied by proof that all customers have concluded other contracts,” ANRE representatives said.

There is also a situation where a supplier’s license is automatically withdrawn because it no longer has a contract with Transgaz, but in that case the supplier assumes the payment of imbalances in the system.

Sursa foto: Unsplash / Junho Kwon

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