Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Slovak Gas Enterprise: 3rd Energy Package brings the biggest change ever

Two former governments of Slovak republic tried to transpose EU’s 3rd Energy Package into the national legislation. However, Slovakia still lags behind, said Slovak Gas Enterprise’s Mr Henrich Krejčí in an interview for EurActiv.sk.

“Implementation of so called 3rd energy package means probably the biggest change in our national energy legislation, since Slovakia had become the member of EU,” said Henrich Krejčí, who acts as a lead of energy law and regulation department at Slovak Gas Enterprise (SPP). SPP company, which is the leader on natural gas market in Slovakia, had been preparing for new rules since 2010. Currently, the vertically integrated company needs only to move assets of natural gas transportation network under the “eustream, a.s.” company. Eustream company is the member of SPP family and act as an operator of gas transportation system.

According to Mr Krejčí, there was a little of time for companies to comment both law proposals and formulate the feedback. Especially the proposal of regulation act was introduced as a new text, in comparison to previous proposal introduced by former government in the end of 2011. “We don’t think it was a fortunate choice, because, from our point of view, the proposed legislation includes some unclear wordings like fuel poverty definition, broad definition of vulnerable consumers or the institute of out of the ordinary regulation,” said the expert.

The main difference between the former and current proposal of regulation act is the default model of the unbundling, when it comes to the future operation of gas transportation system. At the end of 2011, the proposal suggested ITO model (independent transmission operator), in contrary current proposal refers to ownership unbundling (OU) as a preferable model. Mr Krejčí thought that the ownership unbundling would undermine the position of Slovakia on European “gas map”.

The other issue is the lack of “complex view on regulation, if it comes to opening of the energy market to the new players in a long-term”. In this regard, the future energy law does not have an ambition to outline the timetable for price deregulation. In contrary with the trend supported by the EU institutions, proposed energy law sets the restoration of price regulation for electricity and gas supplies for small and medium enterprises.

“Current market share of SPP represents approximately 70 %, consumers use to switch between energy suppliers, they are free to decide between various products. Therefore it is difficult to understand, why the proposer decided to restore the price regulation in segment, in which the market competition works in the standard manner,” concluded Mr Krejčí in an interview for Slovak EurActiv.

Notice: The complete interview in Slovak language you will find here.

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