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New regulations adopted by ANRE will have a strong negative impact on consumers and endanger 4.500 jobs, says ACUE

The electricity distributors members of the Federation of Associations of Energy Utility Companies (ACUE) are deeply concerned about the negative impact on networks and consumers of the methodology to determine electricity distribution tariffs and the lower regulated rate of return applied to these tariffs, adopted by the Regulatory Authority for Energy (ANRE).

2018-09-20 12:02:31

ACUE claims that Romania's energy strategy, under approval process and in alignment with the development directions of the European regulatory framework, highlights the imperative need for investments in the sector, which is in contradiction with the regulatory provisions adopted by ANRE, which will lower the volume of investments and increase the gap between Romania and other EU countries.

"The electricity and gas distribution sector is strategic for the economy and should be regulated from this perspective; as such, a clear, predictable and stable regulatory framework is required, to stimulate investments in order to increase quality of services to the benefit of consumers," says ACUE. "A significant reduction in investments will have as final effect a lower quality of service, affecting the household consumers, the industrial consumers and the competitiveness of the Romanian economy."

Lower investment levels would cancel the effects towards improving service quality registered as a result of the approximately 1.2 billion Euro invested over 2014-2017 in electricity distribution networks, respectively lowering average interruption times from 700 minutes to 284 minutes per consumer per year. For this year, electricity distribution operators have ongoing investments totaling around 400 million Euro.

In addition to the impact on consumers, studies show that the new regulations for electricity distribution could lead to a loss of contribution to GDP of 13.7 billion RON and the loss of approximately 4500 jobs in the economy, in the period 2019-2023, which will also lead to lower fiscal contributions paid annually to the state budget by 1.2 billion RON as fiscal revenues from profit taxes and social taxes and contributions.

Based on the principle of transparency in the regulatory process, ACUE had requested ANRE to delay their adoption for six months, to provide the necessary time for a real consultation and a correct analysis of the effect of the proposed indicators, in order to avoid significant risks raised by these regulations to the capacity of operators to undertake investments necessary for the modernization and development of networks and for improving distribution service quality.

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