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EWRC and the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority signed an Agreement for Cooperation in the field of energy regulation


At an official ceremony the Chairman of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission /EWRC/ Assoc. Prof. Ivan Ivanov, PhD and the President of the Energy Regulatory Authority /ANRE/ of Romania Mr. Niculae Havrilet signed an Agreement for Cooperation in the field of energy regulation. The Romanian delegation was on a working visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission. It consisted of Directors general of "Electricity market", Efficiency in generation, transmission, distribution and supply", Gas market, regulated prices and tariffs" and International cooperation, regulation analysis". Representatives of the Bulgarian Independent Energy Exchange and electricity companies in the country also took part in the meeting. The signed agreement establishes the legal framework for cooperation between the two regulatory bodies to improve the quality of the regulatory process through various forms of cooperation. It envisages working meetings between the EWRC and ANRE managements on topics of common interest and the exchange of information, documentation and best practices. The Agreement provides for initiatives aimed at developing the two energy regulators expertise. In the statements after signing the Agreement the leaders of the two regulatory bodies stressed its role in harmonization of regulatory practices and the achievement of the overall objectives outlined in the Third Energy Package. President of the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority Niculae Havrilet pointed out that the Third Energy Package creates opportunities for harmonization of the network codes of Romania and Bulgaria and mutual data exchange. The connectivity makes us more engaged and compels us to make smarter decisions, said Mr. Havrilet. According to Energy and Water Regulatory Commission Chairman Assoc. Prof. Ivan Ivanov the establishment of the European Energy Union is a great challenge and it requires active cooperation between the two regulators and between the two countries. As determining factors of bilateral cooperation, he pointed out the energy markets liberalization and their subsequent coupling, the construction of the Vertical gas corridor and overall activity in connection with the construction of interconnectors. Within the working meeting between the energy regulators of Bulgaria and Romania topical issues of bilateral interest have been discussed - electricity and gas markets operation, market coupling and defining and protecting vulnerable consumers. By Romanian side the legal framework governing the structure, functions, roles and activities of ANRE was presented. As guidelines in the activity of the Romanian regulator they identified the phasing out of regulated prices and consumer protection, the enforcement of the European regulations on the integrity and transparency of the wholesale energy markets /REMIT/, development of electricity and natural gas regional markets and the implementation of energy efficiency measures. In terms of vulnerable consumers protection measures, the Romanian experts presented their experience in defining these users and measures for their protection under national law. As main factors to determine the scope of that group they highlighted the level of income, health status and age. It was emphasized that the principles of helping vulnerable consumers include their protection through direct contributions rather than through special energy prices, and ensure continuity of supply, promote energy efficiency measures, providing accurate and complete information to consumers about the possibilities of switching suppliers. During the discussion, participants exchanged information on current issues related to the organization, operation and development trends of the electricity and natural gas exchanges in both countries. The management of the Bulgarian Independent Energy Exchange presented to the Romanian delegation the activity of the power exchange just recently started, the organization and structure of the Bulgarian market operator, and measures to comply with the conduct rules of participants in trading.

At the end of the meeting EWRC Chairman Assoc. Prof. Ivan Ivanov and the President of ANRE Niculae Havrilet expressed their satisfaction and confidence that the deepening of bilateral cooperation on the basis of the signed Agreement will contribute to improving the quality of regulatory activity at EWRC and ANRE.