On the Parliament’s failure to change the scandalous composition of the Energy Regulator

Lev Pidlisetskyi on how an Energy Day took place in the Parliament, and who killed the initiative to replace the controversial composition of the energy market regulator
Today in the Parliament it was a very important day for every Ukrainian, since every Ukrainian is a consumer of public services. Within the framework of the so-called “Energy Day” deputies considered a number of bills that could simplify the situation for consumers: both industrial and individual.
For one of the laws – On electric energy market – MPs voted in the first reading. This is the first step towards implementation of competition in this market in Ukraine. I guess it is clear that at any market it is most advantageous to buy when there are many sellers. If there is only one seller, the price is corresponding.
Presently, our electricity market is fully controlled in manual mode – there is a single buyer, “Energorynok” company, which buys all the electricity produced in Ukraine and then sells it to regional power companies or industrial consumers at regulated prices. The National Commission for State Regulation in Energy and Utilities sets the price at which each producer will sell the electricity of the “Energorynok” company. Then it regulates the price at which each regional power company will buy the electricity, and for how much each consumer will buy it. That is, we can say that Ukraine has no electricity market today whatsoever.
The bill “On electric energy market” creates this market. It might seem that competition in this market is impossible. But in reality, when we separate the activities of selling and supplying, several sellers appear that can conclude contracts for electricity delivery to each user (which, incidentally, corresponds to the so-called European “third energy package”). All consumers will be able to choose their electricity sellers. We are not surprised that we can have different mobile phone providers, but for some reason we are surprised that we can have different suppliers and sellers of electricity.
The second law considered by the Parliament today is “On the National Commission for State Regulation in Energy and Utilities”. This Commission is, in fact, the body that fully regulates all relations in this sphere, including the electricity market. It defines who and for how much will buy and sell electricity.
All the complaints that we have today concerning high tariffs, further price increase, the “Rotterdam formula”, Hryhoryshyn’s transformers – are the result of poor performance of the public regulator and its controversial decisions.
In order to regulate the work of this body we planned to carry out a full rotation – to replace all the members of the Commission within 6 months. And then we could have an entirely new regulator that would have a more professional vision.
In order to implement this MPs had to support my amendment №186. But Fatherland faction and the old system prevented this from coming true. At the Verkhovna Rada website everyone can see how each deputy voted.
7 deputies voted against the amendment, six of them are from the Fatherland faction – Tymoshenko among them. What I call a system are the 45 deputies from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc and the “Rada system,” because the latter did not count my vote for my own amendment. Just as it didn’t count the votes of my colleagues Taras Pastukh and Semen Semenchenko. Maybe, it was an accident, but conscious voting against the rotation means willing to preserve the current composition headed by Dmytro Vovk for 18 more months.
Can then these politicians say that criminal Commission sets criminal tariffs? And who should now be held responsible for all the tariffs? This is the person who appoints the members of the Commission (the President) and those who have not dismissed them though having every opportunity to do so simply by voting today. Our people are smart and they will make proper conclusions.

Lev Pidlisetskyj
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