“The regulator should postpone the introduction of the pseudo gas market” – Aliona Babak

Starting from August 1, the new composition of the energy regulator plans to launch the long-awaited gas market. But since the ideology behind this market was created by the old commission headed by Mr. Vovk, we expect an expensive for the consumers experiment aimed at enriching the monopoly structures – “Naftogaz” and owners of regional gas companies.

Back in 2015, the commission of Mr. Vovk obliged all entrepreneurs to purchase remote readout devices at their own expense for a good purpose – to enable online transmission of the data on consumption for the gas supplier to be able to order the gas in the amount necessary for the consumers every day.

However, in reality, at the consumers’ expense (we are talking about 20-30 thousand hryvnias for one device) the information from the customers’ metres is transferred to the server of the regional gas company exclusively. From 19:00 to 7:00 the supplier does not see the volume of the consumed gas, and in case of inconsistency between the planned and the actual consumption during this time, the supplier cannot eliminate the unbalance of the order – the exchange built by Mr. Vovk does not work around the clock, it closes at 18:00.

Mr. Vovk came up with a system of financial sanctions for suppliers for the imbalance. That is, independent suppliers will constantly incur losses for the mismatch in the planned and actual consumption. They will either have to make consumers cover these losses or to leave the market.

As a result, only regional gas distribution companies as the companies that have their gas reserves for production and technical needs, and their own gas suppliers that will order gas on the basis of calculated rates, rather than individual ones, will be able to use these reserves to eliminate imbalances within their service areas without financial losses. That is, the monopoly of gas distribution network owners will spread to the supply market as well.

Entrepreneurs are sabotaging the purchase of such remote devices. In some regions – Zhytomyr, Mykolaiv, Chernivtsi, Khmelnytskyi, and Volyn – entrepreneurs have already appealed to the National Commission for State Regulation in Energy and Utilities and MPs to do something with this arbitrariness.

People understand that a monopoly of the owners of gas distribution networks is being created. And this is being done at their expense but without any benefits for them.

Samopomich Union is appealing to the regulator with a request to delay the introduction of the pseudo gas market by the time independent suppliers are provided with the opportunity to eliminate unbalanced orders at any time and to get online access to the meters of their customers.

 

Alona Babak
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