10 july 2019 • Views 414
During an interview for the news portal TRIBUNA, Mr. Veaceslav Untila, the General Director of the Administration Council of the National Agency for Energy Regulation (ANRE), spoke about the ANRE’s activity report that he recently presented to the deputies of the Parliament.
T: Mr. Untila, a few days ago, you presented the report on ANRE’s activity in 2018 to the deputies. What are the main conclusions of this report?
V.U: ANRE continued to conduct its normal activities of regulating the electricity, natural gas, thermal energy sectors, oil products market and public water supply and sewerage service, in compliance with current laws and normative acts.
T: What is your overview on the activity in each regulated sector?
V.U: The evolutions in each regulated energy sector are the following:
In 2018, in the electricity sector we have registered an increase in electricity consumption of 145 million kWh, compared to 2017. The electricity produced by the local producers is 804.2 million kWh, while the rest is imported from Ukraine and from Moldovenească Power Plant (Cuciurgan, Transnistria).
In the natural gas sector, we have also seen an increase of consumption by 9.3%, to 1129.7 million m3. The natural gas was acquired from "Gazprom" (Russian Federation). In the thermal energy sector, the amount of thermal energy produced by the licensees was 1979.5 thousand Gcal, going up by 5%, compared to 2017.
On the petroleum products market, the total quantity of imported petroleum products reached 829,403 thousand tons, up 2.5% compared to 2017.
In the sector of public water supply and sewerage services, the quantity of water provided to consumers registered 62,798 million m3, an increase of approximately 2.19% compared to 2017.
T: I understand that these are quantitative indicators, but how are the qualitative indicators looking?
V.U: If we talk about the quality of services, and in particular about the quality of electricity distribution services, then I would like to mention that the analysis of these was carried out taking into account 3 basic aspects: the continuity of electricity supply to consumers; solving the requests related to the quality of the electricity; the quality of the relationships between distribution system operators (DSO) / suppliers and electricity end users.
During 2018, the distribution system operators (DSO) reported a total number of 15,1048 cases of consumers requesting compensation for non-compliance with the guaranteed indicators of continuity (the duration and number of planned and unplanned outages). However, only 65 requests for payment of compensation were submitted, while the total amount of compensations paid was 9308 MDL. Therefore, the quality of electricity, natural gas, heating, water, petroleum products provided to consumers, the continuity of supply services to consumers and the relationships between licensees and consumers will remain under ANRE’s supervision.
T: In this regard, what can you tell us about the protection of consumer rights?
V.U: We do not forget, of course, that ANRE has the function of protecting the consumers’ rights. The Agency normally examines consumers’ petitions and solves the problems that may occur, within the limits of its competence and within the deadlines established by law. 907 petitions were registered in 2018.
Electricity consumers have submitted 420 petitions. The most common issues are related to: the quality of the services provided; the connection to the electrical network, including the extension of the electrical distribution networks; power outages, including the electricity disconnections due to non-payment of bills; breach of contract terms and problems related to measuring equipment; electricity billing, regulated tariffs, including electricity production from renewable energy sources.
The final consumers of natural gas have submitted 118 petitions. The majority of these petitions are related to: the connection to the natural gas distribution networks; billing the consumption of natural gas; the disconnections of gas installations from the natural gas network; tariffs for the supplied natural gas; natural gas outages.
The consumers of water (143 petitions) are expressing their disagreement with the consumption bills they received and the individual contracts they signed due to operator's refusal to sign individual contracts on public service of water supply and sewage. The operators’ refusal is motivated by the accumulated debt or by the fact that it is impossible to sign contracts with all the owners/tenants of the apartments.
The thermal energy (heating) consumers have submitted 214 petitions. A quantitative analysis of these petitions have shown that the largest number of complaints (128 petitions) comes from consumers of thermal energy in the city of Balti. And 128 petitions come from consumers in Chisinau.
In order to solve these complaints, ANRE is examining each petition and organizes visits on site if necessary. Work sessions are being held with the petitioner and the licensee, in order to find appropriate solutions without delays.
Consumer are also offered consultations by calling the "Green Line" service. During 2018, 601 telephone calls were received that addressed various issues regarding the supply of electricity, natural gas, water supply, thermal energy/heating, petroleum products, etc.
T: A very sensitive subject in ANRE’s activity is the regulation of prices and tariffs. How were things evolving in 2018?
VU: In 2018 the Agency has adjusted the tariffs for electricity and natural gas, and approved the tariffs for thermal energy/heating, the public water supply and sewerage service. ANRE also continued the work of examining the necessary costs and expenses of operators to conduct the regulated activities.
Following the request from the natural gas supplier S.A. Moldovagaz, the Agency approved the final price of natural gas of 4420 MDL/1000 m3, a lower level of pricing compared to previous period.
According to the tariff methodologies, in order to ensure a reliable and efficient supply of electricity to the end users, the average price of electricity from Î.C.S. „Gas Natural Fenosa Furnizare Energie” S.R.L, as of July 1, 2018, was set at 173 bani / kWh, 10.1% lower compared to the previous price. While the average price of electricity supply from S.A. „Furnizarea Energiei Electrice Nord” to the end users was established at 179 bani / kWh, 11.3% lower compared to the previous price.
The decrease in electricity prices was caused by a steady decrease of acquisition prices, from 111.1 bani/kWh to 100.9 bani/kWh, due to a favorable evolution of the average exchange rate of the national currency against the US dollar, as well as adding to the tariff only the justified expenses that are absolutely necessary for a sustainable activity of the enterprises.
Also, during 2018, ANRE has approved the price ceiling for diesel and gasoline according to the provisions of the Law on petroleum products market and the Methodology on petroleum products price formation and application.
T: One of the main functions of ANRE is to issue licenses to conduct activities in the regulated sectors. How many licenses has ANRE issued last year?
V.U: During 2018 ANRE issued 13 licenses for the supply of electricity and 2 licenses for electricity production. In the natural gas sector, ANRE issued 2 licenses for the supply of natural gas and one license for the supply of compressed natural gas for vehicles. 38 licenses were issued to operators that conduct activities on the oil products market.
ANRE does not issue licenses only, it has the responsibility to monitor and control the activity of license holders. 6 control missions were conducted during this time with ANRE staff visiting the license holders in the electricity and petroleum products sectors. After visiting the license holders ANRE came up with proposals and recommendations to remove the deficiencies in their activity.
T: Tell us more about the process of drafting and adopting regulatory acts.
V.U: In order to ensure a better implementation and adjustment of the national legislation to the European directives and regulations, the Administration Council of ANRE has approved 12 regulatory acts in open public meetings. And with regards to the transparency in the decision-making process, the Administration Council of ANRE has adopted 372 decisions, following public hearings, debates and working groups meetings.
T: Do you also receive assistance and expertise from abroad to get the best international regulatory practices?
V.U: Obviously. ANRE cooperates with the neighboring regulatory authorities and regulators from the Energy Community member states and the European Union to enhance the operational activities of the regulated sectors and to improve employee competencies and skills. Also, ANRE continues the cooperation and the partnership with ANRE Romania, participating in various discussion platforms organized by the two institutions. Here I would like mention the importance of the continuing exchange of information, documents and practices related to the regulations elaborated previously and the good application of the European directives that are reflected in the European Union's Third Energy Package.
T: What are the main objectives of ANRE for the future?
V.U: We will continue to work in the interests of the citizens of this country and in strict compliance with the legislation in force.