EU4Energy tackles gas distribution reforms: measurement and unbundling in focus

Eu4Energy News
2 May 2018

On 25 - 26 April, members of the Energy Community Distribution System Operators for gas (ECDSO-g) from Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine took part in the High-level Policy Talks on gas distribution aimed at tackling the changes brought forward by the gas market reform. The event was organized under the framework of the EU4Energy Governance project. Representatives of the EU Delegation in Vienna, the Parliament and the Regulatory Authority of Ukraine, Eurogas and Energy Community experts shared best practices to support the countries in the implementation of their obligations under the Energy Community Treaty. The meeting was primarily focussed on the measurement of delivered gas and unbundling, as requested in previous meetings of the Energy Community Coordination Platform of gas distribution system operators.

Moldova and Ukraine presented their success stories related to measurement. While the biggest DSO in Moldova, Chisinaugaz, covers 95% of connected customers by individual meters, 24% of households in Ukraine still do not have gas consumption meters (majority of them in the country’s capital and biggest consumption area) and their consumption is calculated based on norms approved by the Government. It was explained that discrepancies between the norms and actual consumption often lead to financial problems of the utilities and gas system balancing issues. The scheme also fails to motivate consumers to switch to gas measurement and thus induce energy savings. As follow-up, ECDSO-g plans to develop Policy Guidelines on measurement by the end of the year.

The status of unbundling in the gas distribution sector was presented, based on a questionnaire filled out by DSOs. Out of 44 DSOs in Ukraine, 31 have more than 100.000 customers and are thus subject to the unbundling obligations under the Third Energy Package. This is also the case for three companies in Georgia and one in Moldova. Since Georgia is a new member of the Energy Community, the deadline for DSO unbundling expires only in 2020. Legal unbundling has been completed in Ukraine and Moldova. Nevertheless, a number of different aspects – such as independent decision-making or creation of a separate company identity – still have to be reviewed by the Energy Community Secretariat in cooperation with national regulators. The Energy Community and EU4Energy are both ready to assist in the implementation process.

* The EU4Energy Initiative covers all EU support to improve energy supply, security and connectivity, as well as to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewables in the Eastern Partner countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It does this by financing projects and programmes that help to reform energy markets and to reduce national energy dependence and consumption. Over the longer term, this makes energy supply more reliable, transparent and affordable, thus reducing energy poverty and energy bills for both citizens and the private sector.

In Scope:

  • Georgia Georgia
  • Moldova Moldova
  • Ukraine Ukraine