ACUE pleads for gradual deregulation of natural gas purchase prices for population and CETs
The Federation of Associations of Energy Utility Companies (ACUE) fully supports the liberalization of the gas market in Romania only with the necessary elements to ensure it functions transparently and efficiently, guaranteeing non-discriminatory access of the participants, a press release shows.
"Unfortunately, at this moment, the Romanian natural gas market does not fulfil the indispensable preconditions necessary to enable the completion of this step and, therefore, we believe that launching this process without proper preparation would have negative effects on the natural gas market, likely to affect the public interest, especially by the next winter," according to the quoted source.
The main reasons for which ACUE pleads for the postponement of the gas purchase prices′ deregulation, set at this time on April 1 2017, are:
1) deregulation of the purchase prices for natural gas would lead to a price increase for residential customers and for the heat producers which today benefit from a purchase price determined by Government decision;
2) the gradual deregulation of natural gas acquisition is not a barrier to boosting competition, given that currently any client including households can change its natural gas supplier;
3) the gradual deregulation of the natural gas acquisition should not be grounds for an infringement on the allocation of European funds for BRUA infrastructure projects as long as it is independent of the liberalization process, and while natural gas exports cannot be achieved for technical reasons;
4) the distribution and regulated gas supply companies apply a distribution tariff and, respectively, a supply margin, which are established by ANRE and which represents today about 30 per cent of the final price of natural gas (excluding taxes).
The Federation of Associations of Energy Utility Companies (ACUE) is confident that all these reasons are properly understood and that the competent authorities will take the best measures to avoid major distortions in the gas market, following a hasty unprepared properly liberalization.