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NEW RULES FOR CONNECTION TO TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION NETWORK IN USE ...

BELGRADE, 2 February - The use of new rules for connection to electricity transmission and distribution networks, designed in accordance with the Energy Law, began on Thursday, 1 February this year.

Electricity customer used to finance and install the connection from the network to the meter and paid fee to the distribution for network capacity increase for the connection.

The novelty that the Energy Law stipulates is that the whole connection, including meters, will now belong to the network company. These entities are also responsible for the construction and maintenance, and the customers will pay for the design, material procurement, equipment and connection construction.

In future, the part of connection costs that the customer pays would be for the network capacity increase, but approximately a quarter less than is paid now. This cost should be withdrawn completely in two or three years time and the financing would provided from the price for electricity network services.

Connection costs are determined by network company, according to the Methodologies that the Energy Agency determined and that have been applied since 1 February. The Methodologies set which operating, material and equipment costs can be included in the connection costs and the structure which entities have to use for their calculation. The entities have to give the applicants access to documentation showing the basis on which the costs were set. The customers will not now have to pay fees, charges and costs of acquiring required consents and approvals which can be really high, especially in some towns. Some limitations were introduced in order to provide connection at best possible terms for customers.

However, the Energy Law does not stipulate more authority of the Agency or state institutions in setting connection costs. The Agency is authorized only to determine Methodology for setting connection costs and not for setting the costs themselves. Also, neither the Agency nor the Government or the relevant Ministry have competence over the costs that entities set.

This means that the huge responsibility lies on energy entities engaged in network operations to be reasonable when projecting costs and in their demands towards customers.


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